Two Magnetic Poles
Date: Fall 2012
What causes a magnet to be divided into two different magnetic poles?
This is a great question! Unfortunately, there is not a very good answer. We do not know what magnetism is. An energy force being polarized makes for good intuitive concept and our equations come out conveniently.
Why, what, how and where is presently left up to probing minds of researchers, like yourself, to elucidate.
Peter E. Hughes, Ph.D. Milford, NH
If you break a magnet into two pieces, you will have two magnets. Each of these will have two poles. The poles are not like most people imagine. It works more like a pipe with water flowing through it. The magnetic field goes into one end of the magnet, goes through the magnet, and then comes out the other end of the magnet. This magnetic field then circles around the outside of the magnet, back to the first end. The end where the field comes out is called the north-seeking pole. The end the field enters is called the south-seeking pole. If you break a magnet in half, the field goes in one end and out the other for each piece.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
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Update: November 2011