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Homework Help: Approximating magnetic field as the field of magnetic dipole

  1. Nov 21, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A square wire loop of size 2a by 2a lies in the x- y plane with its center at the origin and sides parallel to the x and y axes. A counterclockwise current I runs around the loop.
    (a) Find the magnetic field on the z axis. [Answer: Bz = 2μ0Ia2/[(a2 + z2)(2a2 + z2)0.5]]
    (b) Show that for z/a >> 1 the field becomes that of a magnetic dipole, and find the magnetic moment.

    2. Relevant equations
    Field of a magnetic dipole:

    where r is the distance to the field point, m is the magnetic moment, and r' is a unit vector pointing towards the field point

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have already done part a and got the correct expression for the magnetic field. For part b, I said that since z/a >> 1 the term (a2+z2) could be approximated as z2 and the term (2a2+z2) could be approximated by z2. This gives me z3 in the denominator which is good since it matches the equation for the field of a magnetic dipole but I can't get the rest of the terms to match. Can someone help me? I think I've either made the wrong assumption or I'm not properly evaluating the term in the square brackets in the equation for field of a magnetic dipole.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2015 #2


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    For a dipole located at the origin with its axis along z, what would be the vector [itex] \vec{m} [/itex]? For a point on the z axis, what would be the unit vector [itex] \vec{r}' [/itex] ?
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