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Vector B in Magnetic Potential Energy

  1. May 14, 2013 #1
    U = -m x B

    Is B the total magnetic field of the whole system?
    If there is two objects X,Z and they all have a magnetic field. But different strengths,
    I want to calculate the U for Z, B should be the total magnetic field of BOTH fields or only X's field strength?

    Since X is the external magnetic field.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2013 #2
    In the calculation of U = -m x B
    You should only take account of the EXTERNAL MAGNETIC FIELD acting on the magnetic moment.
    Meaning, if you'd like to figure out the U of Z, then only use the magnetic field of X.

    Similarly if you want to calculate U of X, then you use only the magnetic field of Z.

    I wonder, is the potential energy of both X and Z the same, I'll leave that up to you Phztastic.
  4. May 16, 2013 #3

    Meir Achuz

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    [itex]U=-m\cdot B[/itex] if U is the energy, m is a permanent magnet, and B is the external field.
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