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In re-reading Is it possible to separate the poles of a magnet? (amongst others) the question mentioned in the title here just occurred to me.

It may not be possible, at our current levels of technology & science, to expect/create a monopole.

Can a magnet, instead, be asymmetric?

i.e. Could the poles of a magnet have varying intensity? If yes, would such asymmetry be preliminary evidence that a pragmatic monopole (one pole very weak compared to the other) may exist?

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Depending on how you define a magnet. See example for the asymmetric magnetic field here: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/47185/… –  hwlau Dec 28 '12 at 16:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, it isn't. While it is possible to create geometrically asymmetric magnetic fields, the net magnetic flux through any bounded surface must be zero. While you could, for instance, construct a magnetic where the N pole had much lower magnetic field intensity than the S pole, the N pole face would have to be much larger than the S face, and the total magnetic flux through the N and S poles would still be "symmetric". The total magnetic flux would be the same through both faces.

If an asymmetric magnetic could exist, it could be represented mathematically as the sum of a dipole (symmetric) magnet and a monopole. But, since monopoles are forbidden (even on a microscopic scale), no such asymmetric magnetic field configuration may exist.

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Yes, it can. Apart from a magnet, it is possible to create an asymmetric magnetic field with an asymmetric coil. Still, it does not create a monopole.

Electric charges can also have different densities $\rho_+(\vec{x})\ne\rho_-(\vec{x})\;$ and create an asymmetric electric field, so what?

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