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Magnetic monopoles

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163725.htm

    I found this article while reading up about magnetic monopoles. It says the they have observed monopoles, I went to my physics lecturer with this and she told me that is a false article and that monopoles are still only theoretic.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2010 #2

    diazona

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    The article seems to be real, but the monopoles it talks about are not true magnetic monopoles. They're "effective" monopoles, formed by the ends of a dipole chain. (I presume you know about magnetic dipoles, basically tiny bar magnets :wink:) Basically, if you have a bunch of dipoles lined up end to end like so:

    NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS

    the "SN" pairs in the middle (the south end of one dipole and the north end of the adjacent one) will basically cancel out since they're right next to each other. That leaves a N pole on one end of the chain and an S pole on the other end. What the researchers in the article discovered is that these two poles are largely independent because of the large distance between them, so they act kind of like magnetic monopoles. This allows them (the researchers) to get a sense of what true magnetic monopoles might behave like.

    Of course, these monopole ends always come in pairs, one north and one south, and they only act like monopoles as long as you don't pull them apart from the chain.
     
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