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In other words, if we have a field equation for a magnet ideally, then we have the magnet within a larger field, does the magnet create less magnetic effect?

This should be simple enough right?

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- Thread starter cbd1
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- #1

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In other words, if we have a field equation for a magnet ideally, then we have the magnet within a larger field, does the magnet create less magnetic effect?

This should be simple enough right?

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The way it works is that if you have two magnetic fields, essentially they exist out there independently as if the other were not there. This is called the "principle of superposition". Now in a case of practical effects such as measuring the field at various locations or as you suggest measuring the force on magnetic materials, one needs to add up both fields at every point using vector addition to create the sum field. That sum field which is the summation of the two fields will then determine the effects measured. For example if the two fields are equal and opposite at a point they will cancel and a gauss meter will read zero indicating no fields at that point. But if you turn the fields on one at a time the meter will read the plus or minus value of each field at that point.

In the case of magnetic materials it's a bit complex, but the general rule is that the magnetic material will experience forces in the direction from the weaker part of the field to the stronger. Thus to see what forces it experiences from both fields you have to first add them up to obtain the total field and then with regard to that field the force will be in the direction from the weaker to the stronger part of the field. OK?

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