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Oct22-03, 02:38 PM
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The magnetic version of Gauss's Law in Maxwell's equations is usually called the law of "no magnetic monopoles." If you believe that Maxwell's equations are absolute (that, in fact, there are "no magnetic monopoles"), then it certainly seems that the fundamental interaction is between currents, and that referring to the magnetic force in terms of the attraction and repulsion of poles isn't a fundamental treatment. Physics certainly seems to support this view for the most part. However, this introduces an asymmetry between the Farady tensor and its dual. I think most physicists would like for nature to be symmetric. There have been several treatments of electromagnetic theory including the existence of magnetic monopoles, which, consequently, would be attracted or repelled by the magnetic field directly. Analogously, moving magnetic monopoles (magnetic current densities) would create a transverse electric field, thus provinding a symmetry between the Farady tensor and its dual. Of course, I could talk all this nonsense (or maybe it's not nonsense) for hours; the fact of the matter remains that magnetic monopoles have not been observed. This lack of observation has been so pronounced as to warrent a law of physics that basically says "there is no such thing as a magnetic monopole."

In light of the evidence, I must concede to your arguement that magnetic poles do not directly attract or repel, but that electric currents are what truly attract or repel.