If you know something about electronics you may have heard about the Hall effect. But what is the Hall effect and why is it important to the electronic industry today? Here is information on Hall effect sensors which you may be of interest.
Many people have some knowledge on how electricity is measured. For example, electricity measurement takes into account Ohm’s Law with its I=E/R formula. Basically, this means electric current is equal to voltage divided by resistance, and we get volts, amps, and ohm measurements. Anyone with a simple multi electric meter can check house voltage, measure resistance, and check for circuit continuity (with the ohm meter feature). However, measuring magnetic force is a little more involved, and this is where Hall effect sensors come in.
Electro-magnetism is responsible for some kinds of movement, and an electric motor is a perfect example. The action of attraction or repulsion from magnetic force placed on the stator (stationary part) and rotor (moving part) sends the rotor part of the motor spinning. Audio speakers also rely on the same basic principle.
Explaining the Hall Effect
A man by the name of Edwin Hall discovered a way to measure magnetic current back in 1879. However, this principle was of little use until years later. Here are the basics. If you connect a conductor to a battery it will produce current and magnetic energy. Now place the same conductor between the north and south poles of a permanent magnet, and the electrons flowing through the conductor will be affected by the permanent magnet.
One part of the conductor will receive more current flow than the other and this creates a voltage (potential difference) across the conductor which can be measured. The larger the magnetic field, the more potential difference or voltage. In other words, the electric current is proportional to the size of the magnetic field produced. This is known as the Hall Effect, and is why magnetic energy can be measured today.
How are Hall Effect Sensors Used?
Hall effect sensors are used in things like floppy disk drives. By measuring magnetic field variations a Hall effect sensor can note the position of an electric motor rotor while it is in operation. This makes it possible to detect how fast it is turning. This feature is seen in automotive parts like distributors, cam shafts, and fuel injection systems. Hall effect sensors are utilized for motor control and also for joy stick controls in large equipment like backhoes, cranes, and mining trucks. Also, the Hall effect thruster is used in spacecraft propulsion, and there are many other applications.
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