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Difference between poles (magnetic N/S, geographic N/S, geomagnetic N/S, and dip N/S)

  1. Nov 9, 2015 #1
    In reading my physics book, there was mention of different types of poles. I was hoping someone could explain the differences and possibly supply a visual representation of the poles with respect to each other as to where they lie on Earth. The different poles were the magnetic N/S, geographic N/S, geomagnetic N/S, and dip N/S.

    Also, going simpler, is Earth's geographic north, located near the magnetic north or south pole? I've seen both, like, mention of Earth's north pole, actually being a south pole, yet we still call it magnetic north. I don't quite understand that, at least why we call it magnetic north when its actually a south pole.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2015 #2


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    We call the Earth's magnetic north pole a "north" pole because it is located in the north. We call a magnet's north pole a "north" pole because, if allowed to rotate freely in a horizontal plane, it will point northward.

    Opposite poles attract. So the Earth's "north" pole is a magnetic south pole.
  4. Nov 9, 2015 #3
    That just seems like it leads to unnecessary confusion. I feel it'd make more sense just to call our north magnetic pole a south magnetic pole since that's what by definition it is. Thanks for an explanation though.
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