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Difference between static and magnetic attraction

  1. Dec 24, 2011 #1
    What is the physical difference between static and magnetic attraction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2011 #2
    Most simply the forces are described by the charges and domains respectively. Static attraction (re: Coulumb's law) depends on the type of charges (being opposite or similar) and the quantity of charge. Magnetic attraction, however, depends on the "spin" of the particles and the quantity and how well aligned those "spins" are. Note the quotation marks as the particles are merely described as "spinning" but really exist in a quantum state that we label as a spin.

    That being said, the two are very similar and fundamentally linked (re: Lorentz Force). In quantum mechanics, it often makes more sense to use the electromagnetic tensor, which combines the aspects of both electric and magnetic forces.
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