All of this crazy talk about inductors and other magnetic circuits recently reminded me of a presentation I did back in college where I had to present some Electrical Engineering concept to a class of 9th graders. I think I did a pretty good job.
After I posted the menorah yesterday where I said in passing that you're not supposed to have circuit traces bend at right angles, I got a few questions from readers asking exactly why this is. The explanation is kind of complicated and involves some of Maxwell's equations as well as multivariable calculus, but I'll do my best to explain it in a way that doesn't require any special knowledge of either of these topics. This is going to be a doozy, so read on if you dare.