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Magnetically charged particles, or "magnetic monopoles", are a type of hypothetical elementary particle that may exist, though likely are very rare and/or hard to generate if they do. As the name implies, they are particles that carry a "magnetic charge": a source or sink for the magnetic $\mathbf{B}$-field, in the same sense that electric charges are sources and sinks for the $\mathbf{E}$-field.

Suppose such particles did exist. Presumably, at least one type would have to be stable, because it would carry a unit of magnetic charge, and magnetic charge is presumably conserved just like electric charge, so at the very least, the lightest magnetically charged particle would have to be stable to conserve magnetic charge. So we will also suppose for the sake of this question that a stable such particle exists.

Now we take this stable magnetically-charged particle and we drop it into a piece of ordinary atomic matter. What would happen to it? How would such a particle interact with the particles making up ordinary atoms? Could it bind to them? If so, how would that work? If not, why not?

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  • $\begingroup$ All subatomic charges and neutrons are elementary magnetic dipoles. The point is that we don’t associate the dual nature of subatomic particles with both its intrinsic properties of charge AND magnetic dipoles. Follow the history of the discovery of the electrons magnetic dipole moment and examine yourself, how much easier physics will be with the electron being both, charge and magnetic dipole. Beside the imagination of something very exotic under extreme energetic conditions, subatomic magnetic dipoles - or exist as they are, … $\endgroup$ May 29, 2021 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ … or get transformed in pure energy. Magnetic monopoles have no material basis for existence. All magnetism is from the intrinsic magnetic dipoles of the subatomic particle. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2021 at 16:12

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The answer to this question is, in short, "it depends on the atomic matter".

There is no bound state of a monopole and a spinless charged particle (this is proved, for example, in Section 2.3 of Shnir's book). However, some atoms with a magnetic moment can form bound states with monopoles, meaning that a monopole could become trapped in a sample of ordinary matter.

For a review of binding of monopoles with different nuclei, see Table 1 of this paper. One of the most important examples is aluminium, which should form a strongly bound state with a monopole. This is actually one of the ways that collider experiments try to detect monopoles: they place large blocks of aluminium bars near the collision site, so that any monopoles produced will be trapped in the aluminium. After the experiment is completed, the aluminium bars are scanned to see if any monopoles have been produced---unfortunately none have been found so far.

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