When using magnets, How does a compass determine the quantitative value of the magnitude and the direction of the magnetic field?

  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't determine the magnitude, only the projection of the direction in one plane. $\endgroup$ – ahemmetter Dec 12 '18 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a device that can determine the magnitude? $\endgroup$ – Raine Gonzales Dec 12 '18 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, there are many, working on all kinds of different physical principles. Probably the most common are Hall sensors. $\endgroup$ – ahemmetter Dec 12 '18 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Is it still applicable when the earths poles aren't used but another magnetic field?? $\endgroup$ – Raine Gonzales Dec 12 '18 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, a magnetic field is a magnetic field, no matter what the origin is. However, some magnetometers are better suited for certain applications/situations/field strengths. $\endgroup$ – ahemmetter Dec 12 '18 at 12:17

The earth has the North Pole and the South Pole, they have magnetic fields which flow from North to South. A compass needle tracks onto these magnetic fields, and therefore pointing Noth (the Geographical North Pole is actually South facing).


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.