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Assume that we have a dipole affected only by an applied magnetic field where only 2 possible orientations for its dipole moment are possible: "up" and down".

A dipole is simply an object with a separation of charges. This creates a dipole moment, which is a vector pointing from the negatively charged side to the positively charged side. In our scenario, we are only talking about 1 dipole in an applied field. This dipole can have 2 orientations. Let’s call them "up" and "down". We’ll say that the up orientation is the “positive” value for the dipole moment and the down orientation is the “negative” value.

My sources are my thermodynamics class and wikipedia/googleing. Does this seem pretty accurate? I got confused by wikipedia's 2 definitions for a dipole...could someone clarify the difference between the two and which one would apply here?

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    $\begingroup$ Mention what you are defining : whether an electric dipole or a magnetic dipole? A dipole is simply two poles separated by a very small finite distance. In electric dipole, the poles are two equal and opposite charges, while in the case of magnetic dipole the poles are magnetic poles (N or S). The latter is created by a circulation of current through a closed loop, forming a small tiny magnet. You need to be a little more specific and precise in the definition. $\endgroup$ – UKH May 16 '16 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Unnikrishnan would my definition apply for an electric dipole? $\endgroup$ – whatwhatwhat May 22 '16 at 0:57
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, if you specify it as electric dipole. You tried to define both electric and magnetic dipole within one sense. So that loses clarity. Dipole is simply two poles separated by a very small distance. $\endgroup$ – UKH May 22 '16 at 4:04

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