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The concept/signifacance of electric/magnetic moments

  1. Jul 21, 2013 #1

    I would like to know what exactly the concept is behind electric/magnetic moments.

    Just to give a little context, I'm currently doing an internship for the summer and my research deals with toroidal dipoles in metamaterials. I'm just having a hard time understanding what a toroidal dipole does to light that is different to electric/magnetic dipoles.

    I know electric/magnetic moments can be used to calculate the fields and energy of dipoles, but I'm having a hard time understanding what a toroidal moment can be used for. Calculating the field or energy of a toroidal dipole? I figured that if understand the main concept behind electric/magnetic moments, then maybe I could better understand the toroidal moment. From what I've read, toroidal dipoles are non-radiating, so does that mean they do not generate fields around them?

    I've read that metamaterials that generate a toroidal dipole have low energy loss. If anyone is knowledgeable of metameterials and how they work, could you also explain why that is and what that means? Like what's happening to the electro-magnetic wave as it passes through a metamaterial that is structured in a way that generates a toroidal dipole and how is that different to metameterials that only generate magnetic dipoles?

    Thank you very much in advance for taking the time to help me.
  2. jcsd
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