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How To Calculate Position Two Magnets Will Attract And Lock

  1. Sep 18, 2007 #1
    Hi All,

    Do equations (or branch of study) exist for the following problem:

    I have two (or more sphere magnets); can it be determined mathematically/classical-physics-equations what positions these two magnets will attract each other in and lock ?

    In other words - these two sphere magnets have North/South poles. If I allow these two magnets to freely attract each other and lock - will the angle formed by lines running through their poles be predictable/deterministic ?

    Hope this is a no brainer for someone out there....
    I'd appreciate any links/urls/key-words that I could use for further self-study on this topic...

    Hope to hear from someone....

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2007 #2
    I am assuming that by 'lock' you mean touch?

    if so I would think so, and it would be through applying maxwells equations. though since it has been well over 7 years since the last time i did that type of calculation i will have to look it up.
  4. Sep 18, 2007 #3
    Thanks for your help

    Thanks very much Josh....

    Yes - by locking I mean position they come to rest when touching.

    Re: Maxwell's equations....that's exactly the help/direction I was looking for. A link to an example/sample solution discussing this problem would be very helpful - I'd be grateful if you could forwarded me a link/reference.

    Now that I think about it - the 2-sphere magnet case will always be a staight line (180degrees) with the two sphere magnets always lining up end-to-end... with point of contact at opposite poles: N/S or S/N ? Right... opposites attract.

    But what if 3 or more sphere magnets are involved; can the same equations be used to determine their relationship to eachother when the group is allowed to combine... OR again will the solutions be trivial ? either a straight line with poles end to end - or some kind of tendency to form cube forms....or will the relationships be more complex ?

    Which I had a box of sphere magnets I could try out ;)

    Any thoughts....
    Thanks very much....
  5. Sep 20, 2007 #4
    you know on my cab ride back to the hotel (on a buisness trip at the moment) I realized the same thing about the two spherical magnets problem. again by geometry I would assume that the three manet would form into some kind of triangular arrangement....

    as to equations to determne this i still have yet to look it up...again I need to sit down with an E&M book, which I do nothave with me.
  6. Sep 20, 2007 #5
    No problem Josh...
    No rush ;)
    Have a look at the following when you have time:

    From this article originally:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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