For questions that utilize the concept of magnetic fields (commonly denoted by the letter B), or for questions whose answers likely involve magnetic fields. More specific than the [tag:magnetism], as questions about the phenomenon & theory of magnetism do not necessarily involve the discussion of ...

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51
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8answers
7k views

How can Magnets be used to pick up pieces of metal when the force from a magnetic field does no work?

I learned that the force from magnetic fields does no work. However I was wondering how magnets can be used to pick up pieces of metal like small paperclips and stuff. I also was wondering how magnets ...
48
votes
3answers
7k views

Why doesn't light affect a compass?

In our daily life a lot of photons of visible light, infrared and radio etc move around us. We know that light is an electromagnetic radiation. So why doesn't that electromagnetic radiation affect a ...
40
votes
4answers
6k views

Is Earth really a magnet?

I am a student of class 9. When I was going through magnetism and read that an earth is a magnet I got some doubts. My question is: is earth really a magnet? Doesn anyone have any proof that earth is ...
36
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4answers
1k views

Is there an underlying physical reason why the Coriolis force is similar to the magnetic component of the Lorentz force?

I couldn't help but notice that the expression for the magnetic component of the Lorentz force, $$\mathbf F = q\,\mathbf v \times \mathbf B\,,$$ is very similar in its mathematical form to the ...
33
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4answers
5k views

Why is Earth's climate so stable?

Earth wasn't always the only water-world in the solar system. Mars also appear to have started out wet but, as conditions changed, Mars lost its oceans. So, how has Earth managed to avoid a ...
26
votes
3answers
959 views

Do intergalactic magnetic fields imply an Open Universe?

According to a paper on the arXiv (now published in Phys Rev D), they do. How credible is this result? The abstract says: The detection of magnetic fields at high redshifts, and in empty ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do we deal only with large scale magnetic fields in astrophysics, and not electric fields?

In astrophysics there is a lot going on about strong, large scale magnetic fields: in stars (prominences), magnetic dynamos, compact accretors collimating jets, etc. There's even a special ...
25
votes
4answers
10k views

Is Biot-Savart law obtained empirically or can it be derived?

There's already a question like this here so that my question could be considered duplicate, but I'll try to make my point clear that this is a different question. Is there a way to derive Biot-...
25
votes
6answers
7k views

Does a magnetic field do work on an intrinsic magnetic dipole?

When you release a magnetic dipole in a nonuniform magnetic field, it will accelerate. I understand that for current loops (and other such macroscopic objects) the magnetic moment comes from moving ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Extra strong magnet which doesn't demagnetize credit cards. How does it work?

I've just bought this case for my mobile phone. It has three credit card slots, which isn't strange at all, but in combination with a strong magnet closure, it almost seems a bit stupid, because, who ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the magnetic field inside hollow ball of magnets?

Setup: we have a large number of thin magnets shaped such that we can place them side by side and eventually form a hollow ball. The ball we construct will have the north poles of all of the magnets ...
20
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4answers
3k views

Can we stop moving bullets by Eddy currents? [closed]

My idea is to make a gun-like model which would be the source of a changing magnetic field so that Eddy currents are produced in the bullet. Would it be enough to stop a moving bullet? I'm posting a ...
17
votes
6answers
16k views

Where do magnets get the energy to repel?

If I separate two magnets whose opposite poles are facing, I am adding energy. If I let go of the magnets, then presumably the energy that I added is used to move the magnets together again. However, ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there no Gravitational Magnetic Field?

We think that the electric field and gravitational field operate similarly with their corresponding charges/masses. With just a difference that the electric field is sometimes attractive and sometimes ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Does a magnetically suspended frog feel weightless?

Magnetic levitation has been used to suspend frogs in midair. I was wondering: Does the animal still feel gravitational pull? I mean: Does the frog feel like an astronaut on the ISS, or does he feel ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How intense a magnetic field would it take to keep an hypothetical iron-made moon orbiting around it?

The intention of the question is to provide an example of the weakness of gravity. I imagine a horseshoe magnet located at the Earth's centre (remove the Earth), and a ferromagnetic moon. How ...
15
votes
2answers
45k views

Effects of a very large magnetic field on the human body

Ever since reading about the NHMFL I have always wondered about this and asked several people without getting a good satisfactory answer. My question is, considering the simplest case let's say a ...
15
votes
8answers
7k views

What is the electric field generated by a spinning magnet?

Consider a cylinder of permanently magnetized material, with uniform magnetization pointing along the cylindrical symmetry axis (the $z$-direction). The magnet is rotating about its cylindrical ...
14
votes
2answers
34k views

What is the difference between an electric and a magnetic field? [closed]

This question is a consequence of another question of mine which is about spin. Here is my spin question. What is the difference between these two fields? How do they occur? Am I right if I say that ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Why are magnetic fields so much weaker than electric?

In EM radiation, the magnetic field is $ 3*10^8$ times smaller than the electric field, but is it valid to say it's "weaker". These fields have different units, so I don't think you can compare them, ...
14
votes
8answers
12k views

Can the magnetic lines of force of two or more magnets intersect each other?

Basic property of magnetic lines of force is that, they can never intersect each other. Among the two points given below, which one is correct? Magnetic lines of force of same magnet can't intersect ...
14
votes
6answers
33k views

Can magnetic fields be redirected and focused at one point?

I know that magnetic fields can be redirected, but... given a situation where you have static magnetic field over a large area, and you want to quickly change the magnetic field strength. Is it ...
14
votes
4answers
15k views

How long does a permanent magnet remain a magnet?

I have a bunch of magnets (one of those game-board thingies) given to me when I was a school-going lad over 20 years ago, and the magnets feel just as strong as it was the day it was given. As a ...
13
votes
6answers
23k views

What are the fields produced around a current carrying conductor?

If you consider a current carrying conductor, every instant an electron enters the conductor, another electron will be leaving the conductor. Thus, the current carrying conductor will not be charged (...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why should Conservative forces have their curl equal to zero?(intuition)

There are several conditions that must be met in order for a force to be conservative. One of them is that the curl of that force must be equal to zero? What is the physical intuition behind this? If ...
12
votes
3answers
26k views

How does Hendo hoverboards achieve the self-propelling motion? What is the MFA?

From what I understand of the idea behind Hendo hoverboards, they use four disc shaped hover-engines to generate a self-propelling motion. I also understand that it uses Lenz's law and eddy currents. ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it possible to kill a human with a powerful magnet?

I'm asking in terms of physics. Can powerful magnetic induction rearrange spins of my body in such way I will die? How? Or maybe it can rip all iron from me, which would make my blood cells useless? ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

What prevents this magnetic perpetuum mobile from working?

As a child, I imagined this device, which may seem to rotate indefinitely. I have two questions. Is this perpetual motion machine already known? If it is, could you please give some references? What ...
12
votes
2answers
385 views

How are the northern lights produced?

Although I've never seen it myself, I hear the northern lights are a sight to be seen! I know they're related to the Earth's magnetic field but I don't know much more about them. What is the physical ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Are metals more heavy due to the Earth's magnetic field?

Non-metal objects are attracted to the Earth due to gravity. So the weight of non-metal objects can be only dependent on their mass. On the other hand metals can be attracted to the Earth's magnetic ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Would a spinning, evenly charged sphere generate a magnetic field?

I could see how it would go either way. On the one hand, there IS moving charge; on the other hand, it is not discernibly moving.
11
votes
1answer
334 views

What causes the sharp borderline at the bottom of northern lights?

The northern lights are caused by cosmic charged particles interacting with the earth's upper atmoshphere. The particles can be trapped by the Lorentz force, so that we can see them where the magnetic ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How do permanent magnets manage to focus field on one side?

The actuator of a hard drive head consists of two very strong neodymium magnets, with an electromagnetic coil between them. If you take that apart, the magnets attract each other very strongly. There'...
10
votes
1answer
629 views

Do particle accelerators centrifuge the quarks of a proton?

Is it right that circular particle accelerators use magnetic fields to deflect the particle beam? Using the simple equation of "a charged particle in a magnetic field": $\vec{f}=q\vec{v}\times\vec{...
10
votes
2answers
268 views

Does the geomagnetic field rotate?

The Earth rotates about it's own axis. Do the geomagnetic field lines rotate due to this rotation or not?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Spikes on ferrofluid?

What exactly are the spikes, or peaks and valleys, caused by in pictures such as these Wikipedia states that "From the point of view of magnetic energy, peaks and valleys are energetically ...
10
votes
1answer
849 views

Can a compass be used in a submarine?

This question is motivated by several "myths" I have heard recently - I want to know if there is a problem with using a compass inside a submarine. I can see two different issues, so I'm wondering if ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to levitate a toy maglev train using only permanent magnets as long as the train stays in motion?

I am fascinated with magnets, and specifically the idea of magnetic levitation. I recently purchased a Levitron toy maglev train and have enjoyed finding the perfect sweet spot at which it levitates, ...
9
votes
5answers
506 views

Can one deduce absolute motion through magnetism? [closed]

I am trying to understand forces in relativity: Suppose there are two electrons A , B travelling side by side at 1 cm distance at .99 c (in space or at lHC, ignoring all other factors). I know that ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is magnetic levitation a good way to vibrationally isolate a speaker from its support?

I recently heard about this company planning to sell a magnetically levitating bluetooth speaker. I understand that the levitation is partly motivated by visual aesthetics, but on the website the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Mechanism by which electric and magnetic fields interrelate

I read that force due to electric field on some particle in one reference frame can exhibit itself as force due to magnetic field in some other reference frame and that electric and magnetic fields ...
9
votes
4answers
658 views

Do the integral forms of Maxwell's Equations have limited applicability because of retardation?

In the usual bookwork treatment, it is easy to show that the differential and integral forms of Maxwell's equations are equivalent using Gauss's and Stokes's theorems. I have always thought that ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Would an octahedral magnet work as a magnetic bottle?

First, let me see if I understand all this: Charged particles are curved by magnetic fields, so if the magnetic field is strong enough, the particles "follow" the magnetic field lines, in N or S ...
8
votes
4answers
264 views

Maxwell Equations don't give unique Electric Field?

Consider the class of electric fields given by $$\mathbf{E}=\begin{cases} \ln (Cr)\hat{z} & 0\leq r < R\\ 0 & r> R \end{cases}$$ where $C$ is a constant and $r$ is the polar-distance ...
8
votes
7answers
9k views

Bar magnet dropped through coil

If you have drop a bar magnet through a coil so that it goes all the way through I was told the graph of emf induced in the coil vs time looks something like this: (emf induced is on y axis, time ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Wi-Fi in the presence of very strong magnets?

A friend of mine claims to have been able to surf the Internet without fuss on a Wi-Fi connection while performing NMR on samples he was analyzing. I would have thought the strong magnets needed for ...
8
votes
1answer
880 views

How much power would be needed to make a substitute for natural Earth magnetic field?

Imagine the Earth's magnetic field will take a "maintainance pause" for 1000 years and there is gigant 10 years "doomsday countdown timer" ticking in the sky. The magnetic field will be just normal ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

Do all known planets and moons have magnetic field?

In this Wikipedia article it is stated, that magnetic field of Earth is caused by currents in her core. The same origin is for Jupiter magnetic field. For Moon (article) there is a magnetic field, ...
8
votes
2answers
886 views

What is the mechanism by which magnetic fields do work?

I've seen some conflicted answers to this question in texts and on the web, in the case of a dipole, for example. Do magnetic fields do work directly, or is it their induced electric fields that do ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

How do 2 magnets spin by themselves if positioned precisely?

A few years ago I went to a museum, where there was a board with 2 bar magnets, on a pole each so they could rotate. If you rotated them so the lined up with the same poles (N) facing each other, they'...