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Magnetic field of radially aligned spherical magnet

  1. Jan 11, 2012 #1
    Suppose I have a sphere of steel. Now suppose that I take this sphere and cut it into hundreds of solid-angle pieces. Now each of these pieces is charged with a magnet so that the pointed end is the south, and the round end is the north pole. Now take these pieces of magnet, and join them together once more, so that they once more form a sphere so that the original north end of the individual magnets face outwards.

    Now if the magnetic field from this object was plotted, what would I see?
    1. would it be straight lines extending from the center? If one thinks about the north and south pole as fixed regions of each magnet, then the north pole is always closer to any test charge, so the ball should give off a net positive field at any external location.
    2. would it be 0? The mini magnets can be thought of as stacks of magnets end to end, so the sphere is a stack of infinitely thin spherical shells. Thus, the net difference between the mean distance from the north and south poles would be 0, so no magnetic field results.
    3. would it become a regular bar magnet? Just a random possibility I thought of, no reason I can think of to support this, though I'm only a student, so please share.
    4. Something else entirely.
    please describe and explain.
  2. jcsd
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