Playing with magnetic balls, and now I have a question

• rhenretta
In summary, a person was playing with magnetic balls and pondered about the particle exchange between them. They questioned if there would be a noticeable change in force when putting their finger between the magnets. It was mentioned that the electromagnetic force is carried by photons and the person's finger may have some ferromagnetic properties. However, this exchange is not as exciting as initially thought. There was then a discussion about the electromagnetic force and its relation to photons and virtual photons. Finally, there was a disagreement about the general definition of a "field" and its relation to electromagnetic force.
rhenretta
I was spending an incredibly exciting Friday night playing with some magnetic "bucky balls" that I got from thinkgeek yesterday. As I am playing with the balls (heh), I have them aligned where I have two sheets, with opposing force. and I was pressing them together imagining the particle exchange between them (hopefully, this is not atypical behavior around here).

Since it is the electromagnetic force, the W boson is being passed between the magnets at increasing rates as the two sheets come closer (assuming my knowledge of the standard model is correct). When I put my finger between, there is no noticeable change in the amount of force required (would there be?). What would the particle exchange look like with the barrier? The W should be absorbed and passed by all electrons in between just like a photon right?

Extra credit: describe some cool electromagnetic phenomena in quantum particle exchange

Extra Extra credit: Hijack the thread with something even cooler... really, I'm bored and want to talk about fun quantum phenomena

rhenretta said:
Since it is the electromagnetic force, the W boson is being passed
The W boson passes the electro-weak force, that keeps the quarks in a proton or neutron together.

Electromagnetic force is carried by photons

ah, now I see where I went wrong, I need to go read up on the weak force more, there is some interesting stuff in there. So are 100% of the photons being passed through the barrier that is my finger, or is there a measurable change in the amount of force I need to move the sheets?

Presumably your finger has some tiny but non-zero ferromagnetic properties, but it has very little effect

Well, now this is no longer a fun and exciting particle exchange is it? Luckily, I just found out about the apparently definitive set of feynman lectures, and it is supposedly in stock here, so my interest is now lost :P

mgb_phys said:
Electromagnetic force is carried by photons

Whaa..?? Where did you find that information?

Electric and magnetic force is property of electric and magnetic fields. Photon is made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, therefore what you say makes no sense.

marion.s said:
Whaa..?? Where did you find that information?

Electric and magnetic force is property of electric and magnetic fields. Photon is made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, therefore what you say makes no sense.

Nope. From the Wikipedia, Electromagnetic force: "The electromagnetic force operates via the exchange of messenger particles called photons and virtual photons. The exchange of messenger particles between bodies acts to create the perceptual force whereby instead of just pushing or pulling particles apart, the exchange changes the character of the particles that swap them."

mgb_phys said:
Presumably your finger has some tiny but non-zero ferromagnetic properties, but it has very little effect

As to the original question AFAIK human body is weakly diamagnetic.

marion.s said:
Whaa..?? Where did you find that information?

Electric and magnetic force is property of electric and magnetic fields. Photon is made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, therefore what you say makes no sense.

Eh, that's not really the way you think of it in field theory. Its actually an exchange of photons that contribute to the electromagnetic "force".

Sheesh mamma! Ok, I see... but, that is ridiculous.

Why would that be included as 'general definition' of what "field" is?! That's experimentally unconfirmed and very nonsensical, it's in contradiction with everything else in physics, even Quantum Mechanics itself. Why is that hallucinatory and experimentally oblivious theory considered as general knowledge?!

Can someone please explain who came up with this and when?

What are magnetic balls and how do they work?

Magnetic balls, also known as neodymium magnets or Buckyballs, are small spherical magnets made from neodymium, iron, and boron. They work by having a strong magnetic field which allows them to attract and repel other magnets and certain materials such as iron.

What are some potential risks or dangers associated with playing with magnetic balls?

If ingested, magnetic balls can pose a serious health risk as they can cause damage to the digestive system and potentially block the intestines. Additionally, if swallowed in multiples, they can attract to each other and pinch the digestive tissue, leading to serious complications. It is important to keep magnetic balls out of reach of children and to seek medical attention if ingested.

What are some potential benefits of playing with magnetic balls?

Playing with magnetic balls can improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and creativity. It can also serve as a stress-relieving activity for some individuals.

Can playing with magnetic balls have any impact on electronic devices?

Yes, magnetic balls can interfere with electronic devices such as pacemakers, credit cards, and computer hard drives. It is important to keep them away from these devices to prevent any damage or malfunctions.

Are there any limitations to the ways in which magnetic balls can be used?

Yes, there are limitations to the use of magnetic balls. They should not be used for medical purposes, as they have not been proven to have any health benefits. Additionally, they should not be used as a toy for children under the age of 14 due to potential choking hazards.

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