In magnetism, there are two different magnetic fields, that I will simply call $\mathbf B$ and $\mathbf H$. The distinction is not always clear. In experiments $\mathbf H$ is the applied field while $\mathbf B$ is the total field that includes the magnetization $\mathbf M$ of matter. The three fields are unified under the equation $$\mathbf H=\frac{1}{\mu_0}\mathbf B-\mathbf M.$$

Who was the first to make this distinction?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you access "B and H, the intensity vectors of magnetism: A new approach to resolving a century-old controversy" in American Journal of Physics? doi.org/10.1119/1.19459 $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Oct 12 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ If I recall correctly, this B and H symbolism is due to Maxwell. $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Oct 12 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ @M.Farooq Maxwell introduced the notation but not the concept. But thanks for the reference! $\endgroup$
    – Mauricio
    Oct 12 at 7:53

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