Unusual Three-Poled Bar Magnet: An Unexplained Phenomenon in Physics Class

In summary, a high school physics teacher discovered a bar magnet that had a south pole in the center. The pole positions were determined by compass measurements around the magnet.
  • #1
Mr. Klapper
2
0
Hello everyone!

I am a high school physics teacher, and I am witnessing something with a piece of classroom equipment I can't quite explain: I have a bar magnet with three poles. There's a North pole on the top AND bottom, and a south pole in the middle. This would make sense if two magnets had been fused together, but that is not the case.

The bar magnet was stored in the same place as all the other bar magnets, which are still functioning as simple N/S polar magnets, but this one somehow has a south pole in the center. The only difference is that the other magnets have partner magnets in their storage units, and this one did not, though I don't see how that could cause this.

Would anyone care to offer any potential explanations?
 
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  • #2
hi
welcome to PF :)

can you draw a pic showing where you think the poles are ... just to make it clear to us

what experiment(s) did you do to determine the pole positions ?

cheers
Dave
 
  • #3
Mr. Klapper said:
Hello everyone!

I am a high school physics teacher, and I am witnessing something with a piece of classroom equipment I can't quite explain: I have a bar magnet with three poles. There's a North pole on the top AND bottom, and a south pole in the middle. This would make sense if two magnets had been fused together, but that is not the case.

The bar magnet was stored in the same place as all the other bar magnets, which are still functioning as simple N/S polar magnets, but this one somehow has a south pole in the center. The only difference is that the other magnets have partner magnets in their storage units, and this one did not, though I don't see how that could cause this.

Would anyone care to offer any potential explanations?

And in addition to the sketch, if you could put a piece of paper on top of it and sprinkle on some iron filings, that would be helpful... :-)
 
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Likes davenn
  • #4
So, I feel as if the iron filings speak for themselves as opposed to a drawn picture. We discovered this anomaly when I assigned my students to use compasses to determine the magnetic field around a bar magnet, and they drew this. I told them it was wrong, and went to correct me, and they insisted it was right. I took a look at their compass map around it, and to my surprise, it was the way it looks in the picture. Two similar poles on each end of the bar magnet, and then one different pole in the center.
I gave them another bar magnet, and they saw the way it is usually configured.
See for yourself.
(PS: sorry about the learning goal and scale in the background of the picture.)
photo.JPG
 

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  • #5
Looks like NSN to me. Must have had a stronger magnet SN packed on top on the right side.
 
  • #6
That's an interesting anomaly! Thanks for sharing. :oldsmile:
 

1. What is an unusual three-poled bar magnet?

An unusual three-poled bar magnet is a type of magnet that has three poles, as opposed to the traditional two poles (north and south). This means that it has two north poles and one south pole, or vice versa. This phenomenon is not commonly observed and is still unexplained by scientists.

2. How is an unusual three-poled bar magnet different from a regular bar magnet?

The main difference between an unusual three-poled bar magnet and a regular bar magnet is the number of poles. A regular bar magnet has two poles, north and south, while an unusual three-poled bar magnet has three poles - two north poles and one south pole, or vice versa. This makes it behave differently in terms of magnetic fields and interactions with other magnets.

3. What causes an unusual three-poled bar magnet to have three poles?

This is currently unknown and is still a topic of research in the field of physics. Some theories suggest that it could be due to a defect or irregularity in the manufacturing process, while others propose that it could be a result of quantum mechanical effects.

4. Can an unusual three-poled bar magnet be used for any practical applications?

As of now, there are no known practical applications for an unusual three-poled bar magnet. However, further research and understanding of this phenomenon could potentially lead to new technologies and applications in the future.

5. How does an unusual three-poled bar magnet affect the magnetic field around it?

An unusual three-poled bar magnet can create a more complex and irregular magnetic field compared to a regular bar magnet. Its third pole can affect the direction and strength of the magnetic field, making it behave differently when interacting with other magnets or magnetic materials.

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