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What exactly is the magnetic field? I know what it does, but I want to know what it's made of at microscopic level, and how it gets its shape. By comparison with the electrostatic field, which is created by electric charges that attract/repel one another, what creates the magnetic field? The movement of electrons in atoms? Or, are there some elementary particles that create this field? If yes, which particles?

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    $\begingroup$ The electromagnetic field is the thing it is made out of. Really. $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '15 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ What about Wikipedia's take on this does not satisfy you? $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Mar 8 '15 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ "but I want to know what it's made of" - suppose you were told that the magnetic field is made of X. Would you not then ask, "well what exactly is X? What is X made of?". $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '15 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind couldn't you understand that the user asks, and also specified in his comment, about the microscopic origin of the magnetic field. A feromagnet has a microscopic structure, doesn't it? A diamagnet has also a microscopic structure. The use asked what are the elementary (microscopic) bricks of a magnet. $\endgroup$
    – Sofia
    Mar 8 '15 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ @DragonSlayer3 In an attempt to propose your question for reopening, I reformulated it. But my formulation would be accepted only if you confirm that you agree with it. Here it is: What exactly is the magnetic field? I know what it does, but I want to know what it's made of at microscopic level, and how it gets its shape. By comparison with the electrostatic field, which is created by electric charges that attract/repel one another, what creates the magnetic field? The movement of electrons in atoms? Or, are there some elementary particles that create this field? If yes, which particles? $\endgroup$
    – Sofia
    Mar 8 '15 at 22:39
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Magnetic fields are caused by the electric fields. An magnetic field is an electric field that a particle in a certain reference frame that changed the effect. For example electrons moving in a wire produces a magnetic field as shown in this video. This video shows how magnetic fields are just electric fields in a different reference frame. Also, the electrons moving in an atom are magnets, but this video explains why only certain materials can be magnetized and why all magnetizable materials are not immediately magnets. This is due to magnetic domains.

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    $\begingroup$ There is nothing magical about electrons in this context: any moving charges work fine. And because "moving" is dependent on the choice of reference frame it is better not to try to form a strong distinction between electric and magnetic fields except in a introductory context: they are the time-like and space-like components of a Lorentz vector field. $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '15 at 2:10
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for reminding me that it is a charge in general, I sometimes forget that since I usually associate magnetism with the electrons in the atom. As for the moving part of my explanation, since he is just learning what a magnetic field is, I thought it would be easier for him to grasp, but I will change it. $\endgroup$
    – Jimmy360
    Mar 8 '15 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ @StanShunpike , should I take the anwser down and wait for it to be closed? $\endgroup$
    – Jimmy360
    Mar 8 '15 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ Jimmy360, I have an understanding of Physics a little higher than high school I'd say, but I've been told that my comprehension level is outstanding for a 17 year old. So if you say something, chances are I'll understand it pretty well. $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '15 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ Do you know general relativity? $\endgroup$
    – Jimmy360
    Mar 8 '15 at 2:24

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