In A Nutshell: Electromagnetism and Its Everyday Application

If you are enrolled in Physics tuition, you would probably have encountered many interesting lessons in the subject. While many find the subject challenging at the beginning, Physics is generally a fascinating field of study with widely applicable concepts and principles in the everyday life.

One of the most valuable and engaging lessons you will probably learn in your study of Physics is electromagnetism. For some, electromagnetism sounds too complicated to understand. But in reality, electromagnetism is quite fun to learn, and you can see its application almost everywhere you go. Let’s take a look at what electromagnetism is and simple instances where you can find it in your daily life.

Definition of electromagnetism

Electromagnetism is a topic concerning the physical interaction between electrically charged particles. Also known as electromagnetic force, this interaction acts between charged particles and serves as the combination of electric and magnetic forces – meaning that it can either be attractive or repulsive. Typically, objects with opposite charges produce an attractive force between them, while those with the same charge produce a repulsive force.

Application of electromagnetism in everyday life

1. Communication devices

Electromagnetism plays an important role in the development of modern technology. In telecommunication, particularly, the growth of wireless communication would not have been possible without electromagnetism.

Common wireless technologies today use electromagnetic waves to transmit data and signals. For instance, AM and FM radio, cordless and cellular phones, wireless networks, and radar are all devices that make use of electromagnetic waves.

2. Home appliances

Aside from communication devices, electromagnetism also serves as the basic principle behind the operations of many home appliances. For example, you can observe the application of electromagnetism in fluorescent lighting fixtures. The ballasts used in these lamps work on an electromagnetism principle to produce a high voltage when the light is turned on.

Similarly, electric fans, blowers, and other cooling systems utilise electric motors that operate under the principle of electromagnetic induction (a branch of electromagnetism). Even your kitchen appliances, such as electric mixers, microwave ovens, and induction cookers, use electromagnetism for their operation.

3. Industrial equipment

In the industrial world, electromagnetism is also a ubiquitous concept. Most of the instruments and equipment used in industries are based on electromagnetism. Electric generators, for instance, convert mechanical energy into electrical energy using electromagnetic induction. Such electronic devices are easily powered with an electric current – one that is generated through the spinning of a coil of wire between two opposite magnets.

Apart from generators, various sensors also work based on the principles of electromagnetism. Electromagnetic sensors, such as magnetoresistive and fluxgate sensors, convert physical quantities like flow, pressure, level, and proximity into electrical signals.


From the communication devices you spend hours on, the home appliances you use, and the industrial equipment you see, these are just some examples of the practical applications of electromagnetism in everyday life. Wherever you are, take a look around the room – are there other appliances or equipment in which you can spot the workings of electromagnetism?