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Building a magnetic monopole

  1. Feb 12, 2016 #1
    Has anyone attempted build a magnetic monopole?

    If you took a bunch of wedge-shaped permanent magnets and assembled them into a ball such that the same pole for each magnet was pointing out radially, then you would have a magnetic monopole. (see attached).

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  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2016 #2
    No. The field lines always circle back to the other end of each dipole.
  4. Feb 12, 2016 #3
    That would only happen if there were gaps, right? What if you could theoretically seal the wedges together perfectly?
  5. Feb 12, 2016 #4


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    The more you try and constrain the field on the inside the weaker it becomes on the outside. A perfect "seal" would result in no magnetic field on the outside. In practice you will probably end up with a semi random pattern of weak poles of both types.
  6. Feb 12, 2016 #5
    Many people have attempted, just as many people have attempted to build perpetual motion machines. But anyone versed in physics knows that this won't work.

    You have as many south poles on the inside of your sphere as you have north poles on the outside, so they cancel out. The outside of the sphere can't "shield" the poles on the inside, and the fact that the outside is closer to you doesn't help since it all cancels out for a sphere. You can prove this to yourself if you know some multivariable calculus.
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