# Quantum Explanation of Magnets

• Hornbein
In summary, a magnet can be explained based on quantum properties as the interaction of magnetic dipoles in a material that causes their spins to align, producing a macroscopic magnetic field.
Hornbein
How can a magnet be explained based on quantum properties? This seems like an obvious thing, but I can't find it online.

The best I can do on my own is that systems are at lower energy when the spins are aligned, so that's why magnets attract one another. The spin transfers angular momentum to remote charged particles, causing them to move in curved paths. But that's not right: there isn't any transfer because the angular momentum of the original particles remains unaffected. Or something like that.

Hornbein said:
How can a magnet be explained based on quantum properties? This seems like an obvious thing, but I can't find it online.

The best I can do on my own is that systems are at lower energy when the spins are aligned, so that's why magnets attract one another. The spin transfers angular momentum to remote charged particles, causing them to move in curved paths. But that's not right: there isn't any transfer because the angular momentum of the original particles remains unaffected. Or something like that.

Richard Feynman says that there is no more fundamental explanation for a layman.

Hornbein said:
How can a magnet be explained based on quantum properties? This seems like an obvious thing, but I can't find it online.

The best I can do on my own is that systems are at lower energy when the spins are aligned, so that's why magnets attract one another. The spin transfers angular momentum to remote charged particles, causing them to move in curved paths. But that's not right: there isn't any transfer because the angular momentum of the original particles remains unaffected. Or something like that.
Associated with the spin of an electron is a magnetic dipole moment. As the article cited by jtbell says, interaction of the adjacent magnetic dipoles in some materials causes the spins to align, and a macroscopic magnetic field is produced.

## 1. What is the quantum explanation for magnets?

The quantum explanation for magnets is based on the concept of electron spin. In quantum mechanics, electrons can have either an "up" or "down" spin, and when these spins align, they create a magnetic field.

## 2. How does the quantum explanation differ from classical explanations?

The quantum explanation of magnets differs from classical explanations in that it takes into account the behavior of individual electrons and their spin, rather than just the overall magnetic field of a material. This allows for a more precise understanding of magnetic properties.

## 3. Can quantum mechanics explain all types of magnets?

No, quantum mechanics can explain the properties of permanent magnets and ferromagnets, but it cannot fully explain the behavior of all types of magnets, such as electromagnets or superconducting magnets, which involve different principles.

## 4. How does quantum mechanics explain the phenomenon of magnetism?

Quantum mechanics explains magnetism by the alignment of electron spins within a material, creating a net magnetic field. This alignment can be influenced by external factors, such as temperature and magnetic fields, which can change the strength and direction of the overall magnetic field.

## 5. How does the quantum explanation of magnets impact technology?

The quantum explanation of magnets has led to the development of new technologies, such as spintronics, which utilize the spin of individual electrons for information processing and storage. It has also allowed for a better understanding and control of magnetic materials, leading to improved technologies such as MRI machines and computer hard drives.

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