19 Difference Between Electrical Circuit and Magnetic Circuit

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In the electricity and magnetism, electric and magnetic field studies are most important. Many similarities and dissimilarities find out in both fields.

Mostly, both fields have a different approach. So, you should know the difference between the electrical field and the magnetic field.

I am explaining more things through the difference between electrical field and magnetic field. These concepts will help you understand both fields.

19 Difference between Electrical Circuit and Magnetic Circuit

Let’s explain the comparison of electric and magnetic fields in tabular form.

#ContentElectrical CircuitMagnetic Circuit
01Basic DifferenceIn an electrical circuit, electric current flows through the closed path.In the magnetic circuit, magnetic flux flows through the closed path.
02Definition of electric current & magnetic flux   The number of free electrons or electric charge particles that move in the circuit is called ‘Electric Current (I).   The number of magnetic lines of the force passing through a magnet is called ‘Magnetic Flux (ɸ)’.  
03Unit of current & fluxElectric current is measured in Ampere (A)Magnetic flux is measured in Weber (Wb).
04Circuit Role of electricity and magnetism
In an electrical circuit, electric current flows from positive to negative polarities.In the magnetic circuit, magnetic flux flows from N-pole to S-pole.
05Difference between electric force and magnetic forceIn an electrical circuit, an electromotive force (EMF) is used to produce the electric current.

Sometimes, EMF is known as electrical potential.
In the magnetic circuit, magnetomotive force (MMF) is used to produce the magnetic flux.

Sometimes, MMF is known as magnetic potential.
06Unit of EMF & MMFEMF is measured in ‘Volt (V)’.MMF is measured in ‘Ampere-turn (AT)’.
Property of circuits
In an electrical circuit, the resistance (R) opposes the flow of electric current. In the magnetic circuit, the reluctance (S) opposes the flow of magnetic flux.
08Unit of resistance & reluctanceThe SI unit of resistance is ‘Ohm (Ω)’ The SI unit of reluctance is ‘Ampere- turn/Weber (AT/Wb)’
09Flowing Property of circuitsConductance (G) is the reciprocal of the resistance.   Permeance (P) is the reciprocal of reluctance.
10Unit of conductance & permeanceConductance is measured in ‘Siemens (S)’.Permeance is measured in ‘Weber/Ampere-turn (Wb/AT)’ or ‘Henry (H)’
11Ohm’s lawAccording to Ohm’s law of an electrical circuit is,

Current (I) = (E/R) = (EMF/R)
According to Ohm’s law of the magnetic circuit is

Flux (ɸ) = (F/S) = (MMF/S)
12Kirchhoff’s Circuit LawsFor the electrical circuit, Kirchhoff current law (KCL) and Kirchhoff voltage law (KVL) are applicable.For magnetic circuit, Kirchhoff MMF law and Flux law are applicable.
13Kirchhoff’s first lawAccording to Kirchhoff’s first law of an electrical circuit is,

Ʃ(I) = 0, at a node.
According to Kirchhoff’s first law of the magnetic circuit is,

Ʃ(ɸ) = 0, at a node.
14Kirchhoff’s second lawAccording to Kirchhoff’s second law of an electrical circuit is,

Ʃ(IR) = Ʃ(EMF)  
According to Kirchhoff’s second law, of the magnetic circuit is,

Ʃ(ɸS) = Ʃ(MMF)  
15Current density & flux densityCurrent density (δ) is the rate of the electric currents flowing per unit cross-sectional area of a material.   Flux density (B) is the rate of the magnetic fluxes flowing per unit cross-sectional area of a material.
16Unit of the current & flux densityThe current density of an electrical circuit is measured in ‘Ampere/square*meter (A/m*m)’.The flux density of a magnetic circuit is measured in ‘Weber/square*meter (Wb/m*m)’ or ‘Tesla (T)’.
17Field intensity of electrical & magnetic circuitsElectric field strength is the electromotive force per unit electric charge.

Sometimes, it is known as ‘electric field intensity (E)’.
Magnetic field strength is the magnetomotive force per unit length.

It is known as ‘magnetic field intensity (H)’.
18Unit of electric & magnetic field intensityThe SI unit of the electric field intensity is ‘Newton/Coulomb (N/C)’ or ‘Volt/Meter (V/m)’.The SI unit of the magnetic field intensity is ‘Ampere/Meter (A/M)’
19Circuit StructureThe electrical circuit can be a closed circuit or an open circuit.The magnetic circuit is always a closed circuit.

Circuit Diagram of Electrical and Magnetic Circuits:

  • How does an electrical circuit work?

You can see the following diagram, the resistance is connected in the electrical circuit. This resistance (R) is helped to limit the producing electrical currents (I) in the electrical circuit.

  • How does a magnetic circuit work?

The same working function has done. But in the magnetic circuit, we are used reluctance (S) to limit the generating magnetic fluxes (Φ). You can understand from the below figure.

The phenomena of the interrelation of an electric field and the magnetic field are known as ‘Electromagnetism’.

Calculation of different quantities of electrical and magnetic circuits

Useful FormulaElectrical Circuit Magnetic Circuit
Electrical & magnetic circuits
of basic quantities

Electrical current (I),
I = (EMF/R) = (V/R)

EMF- Electromotive force
R- Resistance

Magnetic flux (ɸ),
ɸ = (MMF/S)

MMF- Magnetomotive force
S- Reluctance
Opposition quantity
Resistance (R),
R = (ρl/a)

ρ- Resistivity
l- length
a- cross-sectional area

Reluctance (S),
S = (l/µa)

µ- reluctivity
l- length
a- cross-sectional area
Calculation of force of electrical & magnetic

Electromotive force (EMF), EMF= (I*R)

Total EMF, Ʃ(EMF) = (IR1+IR2+IR3+…+IRn)
Magnetomotive force (MMF),
MMF= (ɸ*S)

Total MMF, Ʃ(MMF) = (ɸS1+ɸS2+ɸS3+…+ɸSn)
Flowing quantityConductance (G),
G = (1/R)

Permeance (P),
P = (1/S)
Formula of current density
& flux density
Current Density (δ),
δ = (I/a)

Flux Density (B),
B = (ɸ/a)
Formula of electrical field intensity &
magnetic field intensity
Electric Field Intensity (E),
E = (EMF/Q)

Magnetic Field Intensity (H),
H = (MMF/l)

These are the important formulae for an electrical and magnetic circuit. For calculating different electromagnetic quantities, you can use online electromagnetism calculator

In this tutorial, I have covered many concepts of the difference between electrical circuit and magnetic circuit. Also, covered dissimilarities and similarities between electric and magnetic fields.

If you have any doubt or any point to include, feel free to discuss in the comment section.

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