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Stuck between 2 magnetic fields ?

  1. Jul 3, 2011 #1
    So let's say a water molecule is stuck between a positive magnetic field and a negative magnetic field ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2011 #2
    what would happen to the molecule it self ?
     
  4. Jul 3, 2011 #3
    Welcome to Physics Forums.

    I find a lot of people pick up in elementary education that magnetic fields are positive or negative, and they don't shake the misconception in secondary education. Electric charges are viewed as negative or positive. Magnets are viewed as having a north pole and a south pole.

    Allowing for that correction, I cannot tell what you are asking...
     
  5. Jul 3, 2011 #4
    what i meant by positive and negative are the 2 opposite poles :)... i was wondering if i used both .. what would happen to the object in between ? and what how does the molecule get affected
     
  6. Jul 3, 2011 #5
    OK.

    One other correction: a field lines are described as flowing from a negative charge to a positive charge. Properly, the field is neither positive nor negative, but the charges are.

    As maybe you know, water is a strongly polar molecule, which means it has a negative charge on one end of the molecule (the oxygen side) and a positive charge on the other "end" (where the hydrogen atoms are). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Water-elpot-transparent-3D-balls.png" [Broken] is one of many images of it on the web).

    In the situation you describe, the molecule would orient itself such that the oxygen atom is closer to the positive charge and the hydrogen atoms are closer to the negative particle. The water molecule would also move toward one or the other.

    Does that address your question?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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