Creating a Magnetic Quadrupole w/Earth Magnets

• caters
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of a magnetic quadrupole, which is formed by arranging four bar magnets in a specific way so that they attract and repel each other in certain directions. However, the speaker has been unsuccessful in creating a stable quadrupole using Earth magnets. The other person suggests that the arrangement is not stable on its own, and may be an example of an unstable equilibrium.
caters
I have heard of a magnetic quadrupole. It is often represented as 4 bar magnets separated and arranged in such a way that for any 1 magnet it is attracted to the magnets 90 degrees from it but is repelled by the magnet 180 degrees from it. I have tried to form it with Earth magnets thinking that the stronger the magnet the more likely it is to form a quadrupole. But I have had no success. I successfully get the 4 magnets separated and at angles of 180 and 90 degrees making sure that the ones at 180 degrees repel and the ones at 90 degrees attract.

However the problem comes when I get rid of what is separating the magnets. Either 1 of the magnets turns 180 degrees or it flips or it turns 90 degrees. Either way pairs of magnets attach themselves.

How can I have magnets in open space form a quadrupole?

Why do you assume the quadrupole arrangement is stable on its own? I'm pretty sure it isn't.

I assume that because I have always seen it represented as 4 magnets in open space.

I think the arrangement is a classic example of an unstable equilibrium. In perfect positions there are no net forces, but even the slightest deviation will make it collapse.

1. What is a magnetic quadrupole?

A magnetic quadrupole is a configuration of four magnets arranged in a square or rectangular shape, with alternating poles facing each other. This arrangement creates a magnetic field that is stronger in the center and weaker at the edges.

2. How do I create a magnetic quadrupole with earth magnets?

To create a magnetic quadrupole with earth magnets, you will need four magnets of the same size and strength. Place two magnets side by side with north poles facing each other and two magnets side by side with south poles facing each other. Then, place the two pairs of magnets perpendicular to each other, with the north-south pair on top of the east-west pair. This will create a magnetic quadrupole with the strongest field in the center.

3. What are the applications of a magnetic quadrupole?

A magnetic quadrupole has various applications in the fields of physics, engineering, and medicine. It is commonly used in particle accelerators to focus and steer charged particles. It is also used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines to generate a strong and uniform magnetic field to produce images of the body's tissues and organs.

4. Can I use any type of earth magnets to create a magnetic quadrupole?

Yes, you can use any type of earth magnets to create a magnetic quadrupole as long as they are of the same size and strength. However, stronger magnets will result in a stronger and more stable magnetic field.

5. Is it safe to create a magnetic quadrupole with earth magnets?

Yes, it is generally safe to create a magnetic quadrupole with earth magnets. However, as with any strong magnets, caution should be taken when handling them to avoid pinching or trapping fingers. Additionally, keep magnets away from electronic devices and medical implants, as they can be affected by strong magnetic fields.

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