How and why the B letter has been chosen for naming the magnetic field?

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  • Mez
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi tullio, SKH provides an intriguing explanation for the use of the letter B for magnetic fields, however this does not explain why the letter H is also used for magnetic fields.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_field

    Therefore, I am sure that the letter B was not chosen in honour of Mr Biot, in fact, I believe it was used long before the Biot-Savart Law was described. I will add to this once I find the origin for B and H. I suspect they are the first letters for something magnetic in a foreign language.

    Stay tuned....

    Edit. Well, I suspect that the letter B was selected because the field lines always point towards the North Pole and the word for "relating to the north" is Boreal. Hence the Aurora Borealis or northern lights which is indeed a magnetic phenomenon. Even as far back as 1600 (well before Biot), William Gilbert

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Magnete

    wrote a famous work called De Magnete. http://rack1.ul.cs.cmu.edu/is/gilbert/doc.scn?rs=0...

    in which he refers to the properties of magnets to have a Boreal end and an Aureal end (North and South).

    This still doesn't explain where the H field nomenclature comes from....to be continued...

    Source(s): me
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  • SKH
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    From the "B"iot–Savart law, which is an equation in electromagnetism that describes the magnetic field B generated by an electric current. The law is named after Jean-Baptiste Biot and Felix Savart, who showed the connection between electricity and magnetism.

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