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Homework Help: What exactly is it that determines that a magnet has only 2 poles?

  1. Jun 15, 2007 #1
    I have a few questions about magnetics. Lets say I have 4 individual magnets of equal size.
    1.) When all 4 individual magnets come together and are held together by their magnetic force do they form 1 whole magnet with two poles or do they remain individual magnetics each with their couple of poles?

    2.) What exactly is it that determines that a magnet has only 2 poles? Is it the fact that their electrons are connected through the electron pool? Thats my guess.

    3.) What determines which pole ends up where? Lets say I have a rectangular magnet.

    N == S

    What If I slice a thin strip of the end of the south pole? What determines whether the north pole of the strip will be at the top or bottom of the strip? I assume the poles of any rectangular magnet will be at either the top and bottom rather than the sides.

    Sorry for the ****ty presentation of that question.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2007 #2
    1) they will form a compound magnet which poles at the ends, the fields will be conducted through the middle 2 magnets so it will act like one magnet
    2)magnetization is dependent on spin or electrons, spin is quantized to either +1/2 or -1/2.
    3)it will have the same exact pole orientation as the magnet you sliced it off of. what determines is the spin orienation of the magnetized regions in the slice. since they came off of the bigger magnet they will have the same orientation as the original. this is of course only if it is a permanent magnet.
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