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Is it possible to create an electromagnet with one continuous wire with 2 like poles (i.e. both ends either north or south)?.

Visualising it with the right hand screw rule for current carrying coils, it will be like the picture below, but one end of the coil will be as shown, while the other end of the electromagnet will be coiled in the other direction as dictated by the right hand screw rule pointing to the right, to give both extreme ends North, with 2 South pole ends in the middle.

Right hand grip rule coil

Right now in my head it seems possible to create this kind of electromagnet, given that i can find a way to keep the coils from messing up when a current passes through it.

Is this actually possible? What are some complications that you may foresee or ways to make it work if it can't?

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    $\begingroup$ If you want, you can take two bar magnets and push their south poles very hard towards each other. Assuming that you're strong enough to overcome the magnetic repulsion between them, you then end up with an object that has one north pole at each end, but a double south pole on the middle. (It might help trying to draw the field lines of this configuration). The case with electromagnets should behave the same as two bar magnets pushed together like this; they repel each other violently, but yes, they do have one north pole sticking out at each end, and a double south pole at the interface. $\endgroup$ – jabirali Mar 4 '15 at 2:39
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If you want to use a single coil of wire, then you can begin by wrapping the wire one way and halfway through, U-bend the wire and begin wrapping the other way. As noted elsewhere in answers and comments the two halves will repel each other just like and two magnets in that situation, so don't amp up the power too much.

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I've asked someone with a PhD in Physics from Cambridge. He says it's possible.

The only thing that has to be accounted for is the strong repulsive force in the middle. Prevent that from screwing up the coil of wires and it should work.

Thanks for the responses!

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep, that's the answer. You can accept your own answer if your problem is solved. $\endgroup$ – rob Oct 9 '15 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ For modest amounts of current, just painting each layer of turns with some nail polish or maybe super-glue would help a lot. If it's not going to be a lot of Amperes, then the force on any single turn won't be all that high. $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Dec 17 '15 at 16:56

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