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Magnetic field strength diminishes proportional to inverse cube or inverse square? 
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#1
Nov2210, 06:21 PM

P: 32

I have read a number of journal article that state that magnetic field strength diminishes inversely proportional to the square of the distance. BUT more than one has stated that the field strength is inversely proportional to the cube of the distance from the surface of the magnet.
Which one is correct? 


#2
Nov2210, 08:50 PM

Mentor
P: 11,623

It depends on the source of the field and how close you are to it.
A "monopole" field goes like [itex]1/r^2[/itex]. Magnetic monopoles don't actually exist as far as we know to date, but some situations can produce a field which is approximately a monopole field over a limited region. For example, if you have a long bar magnet and you stay close to one pole. A "dipole" field goes like [itex]1/r^3[/itex]. This is what you get from a current loop or a bar magnet, when you get far enough away that it appears "small." 


#3
Nov2310, 01:20 AM

P: 2,258




#4
Nov2410, 09:24 AM

P: 32

Magnetic field strength diminishes proportional to inverse cube or inverse square?
Thank you jtbell, that makes a lot of sense now. Could you possibly point me to a reference book/article that defines this?
Also in practical terms for a permanent magnet, say rare earth with Max. Energy Product of 40MGOe how long would it have to be before it's capable of taking on the properties of a monopole at each end? 


#5
Nov2410, 09:29 AM

P: 2,258

dont forget about the magnetic field of a single electron moving through empty space



#6
Nov2410, 01:18 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 2,510




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