# Repulsion of the pieces of a broken magnet [duplicate]

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Why does it seem like a broken magnet's poles flip?

I have experienced that if we break a bar magnet into two pieces and try to bring those broken faces together it gets repelled each other. Why is it so?

consider a bar magnet,

$NN--------SS$

$NN$ for north pole and $SS$ for south pole.

I broke that into two pieces, So one piece would be

$NN--SS'$ and another piece would be $'NN--SS$ .( $'$ indicates the broken part).

Now if I bring those two together, $SS'$ of first should attract the $'NN$ of the other. But in the reality it is getting repelled.

or is there any pole exchange occuring? $$NN--------SS$$

gives either $$NN---SS'$$ and $$'SS---NN$$ OR $$SS---NN'$$ and $$NN'---SS$$

so it will repel each other.

Please explain why is this happening?

Edit: The cut has been made perpendicular to the polar axis.

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## marked as duplicate by David Z♦Feb 9 '12 at 18:52

You might also enjoy reading about magnetic monopoles: physics.stackexchange.com/q/1402/2451 –  Qmechanic Feb 9 '12 at 16:15
@Qmechanic: I read that related post. But I couldn't find a answer for my question. –  Inquisitive Feb 9 '12 at 16:17
I think that the bar magnet in question had a dipole moment perpendicular to its length.. So you broke it parallel to the dipole moment, resulting in repulsion. Then again, it would have spun in your hands and you would have realised that the magnet was not normal.. I see no reason for the broken ends to repel.. –  Manishearth Feb 9 '12 at 16:30
Retry the experiment, this time keeping a reference magnet and comparing poles before and after breakage. You shouldnt see any evidence of pole switching, an d the broken ends should attract. If not, we may have an issue.. –  Manishearth Feb 9 '12 at 16:34
Im not saying that you confused the broken ends, im saying that the magnet may not be conventional. Imagine that two different opposite faces of your were north and south. Then think what happens when you break it in the way you described. –  Manishearth Feb 9 '12 at 17:31