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30.10: Significance of Displacement Current

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Significance of Displacement Current

30.10: Significance of Displacement Current

A displacement current is analogous to a real current in Ampère's law, participating in Ampère's law the same way as the usual conduction current. However, it is produced by a changing electric field. Displacement current is defined in terms of a time-varying electric field, and also has an associated displacement current density. By adding a term accounting for displacement current, Maxwell modified the existing Ampère's law, which is now called generalized Ampère's law.


The presence of displacement current in the region between the plates of a charging capacitor accounts for the continuity of the magnetic field, which can be observed by placing a compass needle in the region between the capacitor plates. The generalized Ampère's law can be applied to obtain the magnetic field in the region between the plates of a charging capacitor, where no conduction current is present due to the absence of charge flow.


The magnetic field between the plates of the capacitor is found to be zero at the axis and increases linearly with increasing the distance from the axis.

Suggested Reading


Displacement Current Ampère's Law Changing Electric Field Time-varying Electric Field Displacement Current Density Maxwell's Modification Generalized Ampère's Law Charging Capacitor Magnetic Field Continuity Compass Needle Absence Of Charge Flow Magnetic Field Between Capacitor Plates

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