Electromagnetic analysis has been an indispensable part of many engineering and scientific studies since J. C. Maxwell completed the electromagnetic theory in 1873.This is due primarily to the predictive power of Maxwell's equations as proven over the years and the pervasiveness of electromagnetic phenomena in modern technologies. Examples of these technologies are radar, remote sensing, geo-electromagnetics, bio-electromagnetics, antennas, wireless communication, optics, high-frequency/highspeed circuits, and so on. 

Before we look specifically at the case of the coilgun it will be beneficial to briefly examine the fundamentals of electromagnetic fields and forces. Whenever there is charge in motion there is a corresponding magnetic field associated with it. This motion can take the form of current in a wire, orbital electrons in a molecule or the flow of a plasma etc. To help us with our understanding of electromagnetics we employ the concepts of the electromagnetic field and magnetic poles. The differential vector equations which describe this field were developed by James Clark Maxwell.

The basic law of electromagnetism is Faraday's Law of Induction. Michael Faraday was a pioneer in the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry during the 1800s, and one of the laws he formulated simply by observation remains the basis for electromagnetic induction.

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