magnetic dipole

A model of an object that generates a magnetic field in which the field is considered to emanate from two opposite poles, as in the north and south poles of a magnet, much as an electric field emanates from a positive and a negative charge (each of which is a monopole) in an electric dipole. Even though the existence of magnetic monopoles as isolable particles has not been established, the magnetic dipole remains a useful simplification of the electrodynamics involved in magnetism. Magnetic dipoles experience torque in the presence of magnetic fields.

Nearby words

  1. magnetic constant,
  2. magnetic core,
  3. magnetic course,
  4. magnetic declination,
  5. magnetic dip,
  6. magnetic dipole moment,
  7. magnetic disk,
  8. magnetic domain,
  9. magnetic drum,
  10. magnetic epoch

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.