How is magnetism different from electricity?

1 Answer
Jun 7, 2015

Magnetism and electricity are two parts of the same phenomenon, i.e. electromagnetism.

Magnetic fields are generated my steady charges in motion. The form closed loops.
No magnetic monopoles have been discovered so far.
They exist only as dipoles.
They exert forces on other charges in motion or on static magnets.
They are even generated by time varying electric fields.

On the other hand, electric fields originate from charges. Electric monopoles are present although dipole configurations are also obtained. They exert forces on static charges and moving magnets.
Time varying magnetic fields generate electric fields.

It is worth noting that, a static charge produces an electric field.
A steadily moving charge produces a magnetic field.
Then what about an accelerating charge ?
An accelerating charge produces a changing electric field which in turn produces a changing magnetic field and so on....thus, they continue to sustain themselves and constitute an EM wave.

It is thus important to realize that electricity and magnetism are not two different entities, they are manifestations of the same phenomenon which we study under electromagnetic theory.