2
$\begingroup$

I was pondering on the question of magnetic dipoles but then I had an thought that electron and other particles are either positive or negative or have no magnetic charge but then I thought of particles like being small spherical magnets (in shape of pellets) but then I realized both have a negative and positive poles so what makes an electron negative or is it an mono-pole? If it were like my description, then surely we can never call it negative as it would be relative to the observer.

I'm only in Middle-School so please correct me if any of my knowledge is wrong.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is a related discussion in Rob's answer to the question Do electrons have shape?, and you might be interested to read it. The electron is forbidden from having an electric dipole moment by CP invariance. In fact CP invariance is very slightly violated and the electron is calculated to have a very, very small electric dipole moment. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jun 22 '14 at 15:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wrote about this a little in my discussion of the shape of the electron, but I don't know that it's really pitched at a middle-school level. $\endgroup$ – rob Jun 22 '14 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Oh hi, @JohnRennie :-) $\endgroup$ – rob Jun 22 '14 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the electron is a monopole, a point source theoretically, whereas corresponding magnetic monopoles have not been seen in nature,though sought with special experiments. dpnc.unige.ch/seminaire/talks/mermod_2012.pdf $\endgroup$ – anna v Jun 22 '14 at 15:47
2
$\begingroup$

From your description, you may be confusing the concept of magnetic charge and dipole with electric charge and dipole. An electron has negative electric charge, but does not have a similar magnetic charge.

That being said, many fundamental particles, including electrons, do have a magnetic dipole. This is conceptually separate from its electric charge, though; particles can have no electric charge but still have a magnetic dipole (e.g., a neutron).

Also, there has never been any detected magnetic charge (aka monopole).

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I read it more as Why are electric charges and magnetic 'charges' different? - which is a very astute question. $\endgroup$ – Tom W Jun 22 '14 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ Could be. I queued on so what makes an electron negative or is it an mono-pole? $\endgroup$ – BMS Jun 22 '14 at 17:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.