Forces Between Conductors
Don't forget Newton's Third Law. We will only look at the force on one of the current-carrying conductors. But that will tell us all we need to know about both of the current-carrying conductors!
Look at the magnetic field B2 generated by current I2. Now that field affects current I1. What is the force F1 felt by current I1 because there is a magnetic field there?
That is, two current-carrying conductors with currents flowing in the same direction are attracted to each other. Two current-carrying conductors with currents flowing in opposite directions are repelled from each other.
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(c) Doug Davis, 2002; all rights reserved