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Magnetic poles and their charges

  1. Sep 16, 2014 #1
    What is the reason for the analogy that a magnetic south pole can be considered negative and a magnetic north pole positive? I understand magnetic field lines run from North to South and electric field lines run from positive to negative. Is this the only basis? Or are the magnetic poles actually charged?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    The wiki article on magnets discusses the convention:


    there is also a picture showing field lines coming from the north and going south so my guess is you are right having established the convention for charge it was applied to magnetic field lines as well.

    Also charged particles moving along a magnetic field line feel no force from the magnetic field that could be related to the convention although its true for either direction of motion ie north to south or vice versa...
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