# Why the magnetic field of the electrons is circular instead of triangular?

1. May 27, 2007

### scientist91

why the magnetic field of the electrons is circular instead of triangular? (in conductor with current)

2. May 27, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Why in the world would you think it might be triangular? Consider symmetry.

3. May 28, 2007

### scientist91

4. May 28, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

No, I'd prefer that you explain why you think it might be triangular.

All your posts seem to be short, broad questions (often the same question repeated) with no background or context given. We have no idea what you know or don't know. You really need to find a textbook and begin at the beginning.

5. May 28, 2007

### scientist91

Why it is circular instead of some other shape, that was my question and why the magnetic field is in that direction instead of the opposite?

6. May 28, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

You just restated the same question and the answer will be the same: why would you think it would be any other shape?

7. May 29, 2007

### scientist91

And why would you think it is circular? And is the magnetic field acting like dipole magnet?

Last edited: May 29, 2007
8. May 29, 2007

### vanesch

Staff Emeritus
As Doc Al pointed out, symmetry plays a role. Let's start with a simpler question: why do you think that (Newtonian) gravity is "circular", and not hexagonal ?

9. May 29, 2007

### waht

Because if the magnetic field is a tetracontakaihexagon then it would take less work to create a an enneacontagon.

10. May 29, 2007

### scientist91

and is it acting like dipole magnet?

11. May 29, 2007

### Sojourner01

Is what acting like a dipole magnet? Look, these sort of questions are beginning to get tiresome. As I have said before, we are not your teachers, and as I have said before, the best way to learn this sort of basic science is to READ BOOKS and PAY ATTENTION IN SCHOOL. I am laying into you like this because I still believe your heart is in the right place and you are trying, so simply ignoring your questions would be a disservice - I really do want to help you learn as do all of the people still posting in these threada, but you are persistently ignoring good advice given by knowledgeable people. Continuously posing less-than-coherent questions is not a good way to learn science, and if you wish to learn science, it is important you understand this fact and act on it. I'm sorry to take such a harsh tone, but I believe at this point it needs to be said.

12. May 29, 2007

### Splinter-Cat

I'm not sure exactly where this discussion stands right now, but I'm going to take a shot at answering his question.

Scientest91, the magnetic fields surrounding electrons that you see in pictures is called a contour map. You may have seen contour maps when with topography. If you don't understand how to interpret a contour map, you will not be able to understand the magnetic 'circles' around electrons.

The contour lines are circular because the magnetic field around an electron decays with equally in all directions with distance. Gravity works the same way. The further you get from a planet, the less you feel its gravity; and the force you feel will be the same 1 mile away from the planet, in all directions.

13. May 29, 2007

### Mk

I understand what the guy is saying.

I think it's just because things are circular. Take an arbitrary distance and draw a line. let's say that's how far the magnetic field goes, and then stops. If we assume a consistent medium, then you can imagine that the distance until it stops is the same everywhere around the magnetic body. Thus, a sphere.

The distance where "it stops" is more likely to a chosen magnitude, where say, if you had a magnetic ball, it would be the distance away that it cannot suck in a paper clip. Did I explain that ok? It's circular, spherical, hyperspherical, whatever, because of this.

14. May 29, 2007

### ranger

These circular shapes are a favorite of the universe. A follow up question that the OP may want to consider is why do air bubbles take a natural spherical shape.

15. May 29, 2007

### billiards

I'm fairly sure electrons don't have magnetic fields, they have a charge, and therefore there is a Coulombic attraction. I think what you meant to ask is: why is the potential field surrounding an electron spherical?

16. May 29, 2007

### d_leet

Since electrons have charge, an electron in motion would have a magnetic field around it would it not?

17. May 29, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Moving electrons do.