Comparison between Coulomb’s law and Biot Savart law

Learn about the comparison between Coulomb’s laws and Biot Savart laws. One is for static charges and another one is for moving charges. In this article learn about the similarity between both the forces of electric origin.

The similarity between Coulomb’s law and Biot Savart law

  1. Both the electric and magnetic field depends inversely on the square of the distance between the source and field points. 
  2. Both of them are long-range forces.
  3. Both of them obey the principle of superposition.
  4. Both electric field and magnetic field are proportional to the source strength namely charge and current element respectively. This linearity makes it simple to find the field due to a more complicated distribution of charge and current by superposing those due to elementary changes and current elements

Differences between Coulomb’s law and Biot Savart law

  1. Charge element \(dq\) producing electric field is a scalar whereas the current element \(Idl\) is a vector quantity having direction same as that of the flow of current
  2. According to Coulomb’s law, the magnitude of the electric field at any point \(P\) depends only on the distance of the charge element from any point \(P\). According to Biot Savart law, the direction of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the current element as well as to the line joining the current element to the point P
  3. Electric field \(E\) is not dependent on \(\theta\) whereas the magnetic field \(B\) depends upon \(\theta\) where \(\theta\) is the angle between \(v\) (the velocity of moving charge) and \(B\) (the magnetic field).

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