# Lenz’s Law

Through a series of experiments in 1831 Michael Faraday came to the realization that changing magnetic fields create electric fields. Two years later, Heinrich Lenz formulated Lenz’s Law, which characterizes the direction of the currents induced in a conductor by these time varying magnetic fields.

A convenient way to quantify the strength of the magnetic field in a particular region is the magnetic flux ($$\Phi_{\mathbf{B}}$$),

(73)${\boldsymbol \Phi_b} = \int_A {\bf b} \cdot \hat {\bf{n}} \, da$

which provides a measure of the magnetic flux density over a given area.

(74)$\mathcal{E} = - \, \frac{\partial {\boldsymbol \Phi_b}}{\partial t}$
shows that any variation in the magnetic flux produces an electromotive force (emf, $$\mathcal{E}$$). This emf creates electrical currents within those bodies which are subjected to the time varying flux. The amplitude of the induced current is dependent on the strength of the emf and the conductivity of the material, while the direction of the induced current is characterized by Lenz’s Law.