According to my physics textbook, one can find out the direction of a magnetic field by a small magnet. The magnet will line itself with the magnetic field with the north pole of the compass pointing in the direction of the field. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/345710/magnet%26compass.jpg [Broken] "Outside" of the magnet this makes sense as the field lines of the compass needle are pointing in the same direction as those of the large magnet. But what happens when the compass needle is on top of the larger magnet and near the north pole (as illustrated in the image by the green dot). Would the north pole of the compass needle still point in the same direction as the magnetic field of the larger magnet? Or would it point towards the south pole to which it should be attracted? The latter case would make sense because of the attraction between the north & south pole but in this case the magnetic field lines of the compass needle would be in opposite direction to that of the larger magnet (at least at the y-axis of the needle).