Magnetic field of molecules

  1. Do molecules have intrinsic magnetic fields to them? Lets say you have a water molecule H20. Would the oxygen have a field due to the orientation of it's electrons, and possibly the hydrogens fields act to reduce that field? I'm just curious.
  2. jcsd
  3. It changes depending on the movement and placement of the charges as far as the magnetic fields are concerned. When looking at water we are seeing the 'average' behavior of the interactions of these fields of a large group of likely very dynamic molecules.
  4. Well lets say you look at one water molecule. Does it have a magnetic field or does the random interaction of electrons cancel all magnetism out?
  5. Once a magnetic field is generated from a moving charge it moves away at the speed of light as an EM wave so unless there is an exactly equal but opposite EM wave emanating at the same time then no.
  6. DrDu

    DrDu 4,101
    Science Advisor

    There are molecules with a permanent magnetic moment. In most of them it is due to the spin of the electrons, e.g. in many transition metal compounds. There are a few were the orbital moment is responsible for part or all of the magnetic field like in nitrogen-monoxide or singulet oxygen.
  7. sure

    sort of, but better to understand the magnetic moments [field orientations] add as vectors;some examples here:

    Fundamental particles have intrinsic spin.....and an associated magnetic moment
    check out
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  8. I was wondering when you guys were going to chime in.

    Annored, this the the quantum mechanical view of how these molecules behave and is currently the best and most accepted model for the behavior of such structures. What I presented is the classical description which is typically only used for macro systems.

    It's a wonderful part of science today and represents a split between two very different types of Physics as experiment shows it seems to 'change' when we zoom in for a closer look at atomic scales.
  9. Anorred,
    you can also some find interesting material in Wikipedia under

    Note the first illustration, top right.....

    And as you may know, microwave heating relies on
    with a funny story here:

    I wonder how the candy melted before he did....
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Draft saved Draft deleted