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USGS CMG InfoBank: Creating the Earth's Magnetic Field

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Comment: 19:38 - 20:30 (00:52)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 3. Earth's Interior
Keywords: "Scott Bogue", "outer core", "magnetic field"

Our transcription: We know the Earth's magnetic field originates deep in the Earth.
We think it originates in the outer core of the Earth.
The basic idea is that the outer part of the Earth's core is a fluid, molten iron with some light element alloyed in, possibly silicon or oxygen.
Because it's a liquid metal, it can move easily; and it can conduct electricity.
Heat coming from deeper in the Earth's core produces convection currents or fluid motions which then has the effect of moving an electrical conductor, the metallic fluid through a magnetic field.
When you move a conducting substance through a magnetic field, you generate electrical currents which then generate magnetic fields.

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Page Last Modified: Thu Oct 31 04:25:25 PDT 2013  (chd)