Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Magnetic Dipole Moment

  1. May 1, 2008 #1
    Guys,

    I don't quite understand the concept of magnetic dipole moment as a vector.

    Suppose we have a magnet (like a rod) in 3 dimensional space. North pole at (0, 0, 0) and South pole at (0, 1, 0).

    How would the magnetic dipole vector [tex]\vec{m}[/tex] be oriented?


    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2008 #2
    Probably because it doesn't make much sense as a vector. Roughly speaking, it probably better described as a plane (bivector) quantity. ie: the vector is just the normal to the plane that the current is circulating in. You can describe this plane and the orientation of the current using this normal vector (often called the dual of the plane), or can describe it as an oriented plane directly (bivector).

    As to your specific equation of how this vector is oriented with your example poles, it appears that

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipole

    has an answer for you.
     
  4. May 2, 2008 #3

    pam

    User Avatar

    In the negative y direction.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?