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Magnetic Monopoles

  1. Aug 17, 2005 #1
    Do Magnetic Monopoles exist? That is to say, is their a possibility that the Magnetic Flux will not be equal to zero as according to Maxwell's Electromagnetic Equations, but to equal a value which would serve to be what is called a Magnetic charge in which are the characteristics of the entirely theoretical Magnetic Monopoles?

    And to say if Magnetic Monopoles do exist, would their force be similar to the Gravitational force? Given that all magnets act similar to gravitating bodies, though not to similar due that the Magnetic moments of attracting bodies have to align.

    If their was only one pole being that of a Magnetic Monopole, their would not be a magnetic moment, but only an attractive force?

    If not familiar with the term magnetic moment. Magnetic moment is the net Magnetic fields of Orbitting Electrons about the Atoms of the object? Among all objects the Magnetic Moment is zero. For Permanent Magnets the Magnetic Moment is basically the Magnetic Field brought from the Permanent Magnet. Ferromagnetic Materials may become temporary magnets with their Magnetic Moment being a value not zero?

    Is the search for Magnetic Monopoles a current research Area?

    I am farely new at this. And am trying to create discussion. So correct me if you wish, and inform me as you like please.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2005 #2
    I think no one knows do they exist or not, however they haven't been found yet. I vaguely remember something from my cosmology class - there is some argument that magnetic monopoles could exist in small quantities, but they have been scattered throught the universe in the period in inflation (when universe was expanding exponenentially).

    The other thing that I remember is the argument that IF mag. monopoles do exist, then they must be quantized.

    Hope it helps a little....
  4. Aug 17, 2005 #3
    I refer to this thread for more info.

    Bascally, we have NOT yet observed magnetic monopoles, though it would be a great thing if they existed. Magnetic monopoles are used in various areas of theoretical physics like cosmology and quantum chromo dynamics. In the latter, it was Dirac who postulated the magnetic monopoles in order to achieve complete symmetry in the Maxwell equations (complete because up till than, there was no magnetic variant of the electric charge). Given this symmetry, you can jump from magnetic phenomena to electric phenomena and the other way around. They are just two different languages to say the same : E and B are DUAL.

    This duality is used in the Dual Abelian Higgs model, which is a theoretical model to explain the quark confinement phenomenon. In this case, the quark (ie an electric charge) is replace by a dual quark : ie a magnetic monopole. These dual quarks then interact with each other via dual gluons or quanta of the dual color electric field. I did my master thesis on this in college, so if you wanna know more, please ask away

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2005
  5. Aug 17, 2005 #4
    Thank you very much for the link to the thread, it is very informative. At the moment I am questionless, simply that my imagination is dull at this point in time. I'll have to read up on the other thread to see if my imagination can spring up an unanswered question.

    I find Quantum Magnetism to be really fascinating area in Physics. I'de definitely like to work with this area if I consider going toward Physics. I also notice that the idea that the existance of Magnetic Monopoles remains unsolved, according to wikipedia's Unsolved Problems in Physics.
  6. Aug 19, 2005 #5
    a magnet is allways dipol, if it isnt its not a magnet.
  7. Aug 19, 2005 #6
    Well then, you can take that argument up with all the Theoretical Physicists that are working with the idea of Magnetic Monopoles and all the Experimental Physicist that are working to devise experimental methods to detect a Magnet of one pole. But it won't get you anywhere now would it!?!?!?!?!

    I find it rather rude of the short ignorant post of yours.

  8. Aug 20, 2005 #7


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    He's right in a very basic sense. Maxwells equations as formulated in the 19th century explicitly prohibit a magnetic monopole.

    Now, of course you are perfectly free as a theorist to change the equations and to add 'monopole' terms to make it fit (and in fact the eqns are actually much more symmetric and beautiful with such terms). The consequences of doing this are rather profound as one might expect.

    eg, If there exists even 'one' monopole lurking somewhere out there, you get charge quantization for free, which 'explains' why a rather adhoc quantum number has a certain set of natural values.

    There are plenty of other good reasons to expect monopoles out there, and indeed they can arise in quite a few different field theories / cosmological scenarios rather naturally.
  9. Aug 20, 2005 #8
    If you wanna know how Dirac theoretically incorporated magnetic monopoles in the EM-field theory (by modifying the EM F-tensor and adding the socalled Dirac string), check out this lecture of Georges Ripka. This is a great article that i used as a base for my masters thesis, i recommend it:

    Check out equation (2.10)
    Dual Superconductors

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