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I've read a classbook on the field theory (including EM): it perfectly describes quantitive patterns in EM-theory, but I have no luck understanding how and why it works.

I mean, magnetic substances are described mainly by magnetic moments of electrons, but all explanations of the phenomenon I've found are rather of deep high-level focus on fields exclusively, than on explanation why it works and what underlying mechanisms bring all those ideas to life (including explanation of what field is, except that it is an abstraction).

So, the question is: may anyone try to give (or point to) a popular and thorough explanation of magnets and on low-level mechanisms, which unifies and explains how this long-distance interaction really works (i.e., not only modelled and described mathematically)?

p.s.: also, I'd like to see some papers on computing magnetic properties of bodies (iron ball, for example, finite plane, NeoCube's ball chains, etc).

Thanks in advance!

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I don't think we can embed youtube - but here is Feynman explaining why he can't answer this –  Martin Beckett Mar 20 '12 at 4:36
Perhaps a grammatically correct title would be "How does magnetism work" or "How do magnets work". If you were going for a subtle pop culture reference then use "magnets, how do they work?" –  Alan Rominger Mar 21 '12 at 21:34
possible duplicate of How does a magnet work? –  Dimensio1n0 Aug 31 '13 at 3:39

2 Answers 2

You probably want an explanation of how and why string theory works, Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) arises from string theory and QED makes magnets work.

That's a very long answer.

It would take years to give a thorough explanation of how magnets work to a layman, since we'd have to teach him/her lots of Physics, assuming we accept string theory as true. Of course once we hit string theory, if you ask why string theory is true (assuming it's true; see the last 7 paragraphs), the answer is we just accept nature to be true. See You don't like it? Go somewhere else! by Richard Feynman, the QED Lecture at University of Auckland - Youtube

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to me magnetism seems to work with super small temperature changes occuring thrue two locked in densities in two compartments locked against each other, the compartment with the higher density is the compartment with more resistance,creating heat on one side, making a flow between them possible. we seem unable to measure these small differences, but i can still imagine the smallest difference in temperature be the reason for magnetic flow of the smallest most weightless invisible undevidable particle, easily moved or influenced by tiny temperature changes, setting in motion a flow. the locked in a form density creates a pressure difference between inside and the outside off the shape, electrical or any current inside a cold metal magnet needs a reason to get back out to room temperature, while the cooling of the metal is so nice for the current. all matter seems to be able to do is lose heat, lose energy (without input of new heat energy. The two compartments are locked in an eternal battle, one more strong than the other, the resistance compartment will loose energy over time (not visible in one lifetime anymore), beacause its atoms are inside under pressure by heat, building up inside tension, working on its surroundings with an invisible force.

i think birds dont see magnetism, they just feel the air temperature and to wich side it flows it will get cooler so they fly from colder to warmer air streams knowing this brings them to a warmer place. they are more sensitive to heatstreams in the air.

because heat IS the only energy there is basically, temperature changes create a matter flow, visible or invisible. in small sea creatures or bacteria which are blind, the can find the best environment blindly, I think its by a heat flow, if you feel a heat in a medium, if you follow this heat with the direction of flow, you go to a cooler area, if you need warmth, like birds, you fly against the stream. in space there's solar wind, a gigantic version of magnetism, working on the bigger scale, air is the human scale, and magnetism works in my opinion on the smallest temperature differences, created in a magnet by density that's locked in the material, it can never be exactly the same in two compartments of a magnet, there's always one more resistance for matter than the other.

I have read about a magnet being placed in a water tank filled with bacteria, once the magnet was placed in, bacteria moved to a side walls of the tank, the sides of a tank are relative cooler because there the tank loses heat fastest. once the magnet was placed differently, the bacteria would move again to the relative nicest spot. hot humans seek shade, cold humans seek heat aswel. small == big, big == small.

and my theory is crap? maybe learn to think for yourself, I live in my own fantasy world until YOU realize my fantasy is more accurate than your reality but I wish not to return the favor of becoming impolite, please respect another persons vision, no one sais you have to believe anything mate, no one forces you to accept, I merely had the same problem as the person who asked the question, and in my mind this answer seems to fit best.

Energy = movement said Einstein I believe. what moves? matter..... why does it move? relative temperatures between points in space creating a flow. to me this works in almost any instance but I have no papers to show.

yes I there are problems in my theory, but its s more basic and simple explanation than the ones standing now, which the person asking AND me had trouble with understanding. please you seem to know a lot, tell us how YOU think magnetism work yourself?

I've seen your profile Brandon, there I read we are about the same, interested but learning, as are we all. except I respect your opinion and thoughts. I would not call a fresh idea crap, certainly if I did not truly understand much about psysics as you've said so yourself in your profile.

And to answer your question, who said electrons do NOT move energy? we use electrical appliances daily, what do you think this is doing? Move electrons to a specific place within the machine for them to accomplish a specific task there for the machine to function. How do you think electrons know which way to move in? pressure on the flow of electrons by amperage. We get power from the wall making something work at a distance by guiding the energy. Heat is lost, so all energy is always just lost, when no new energy is added back in the system. (watch your TV's standby light and how long it takes to go off once you pull the plug, this is how long the electron flow needs to reach the light inside your television after traveling a very long electrical circuit route). Energy = heat, flowing between two relative temperatures, the temperatures decide the flow of the currents direction, only two possibilities once it is in a cable.

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So basically you have a pet theory that electrons flow due to tiny temperature differences? And why doesn't the flow of electrons move energy and cause these tiny differences to diffuse in thermal equilibrium? There are many other problems with your theory too. You really should learn the generally accepted theory before coming up with your own. –  Brandon Enright Mar 17 at 21:30

protected by Qmechanic Mar 17 at 21:09

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