Two Magnets Together
Most recent answer: 04/17/2011
- Jim (age 40)
Chicago Ill. U.S.
If the north end of one magnet sticks to the south end of the other and vice versa (side by side), the fields from the two magnets actually cancel at a distance. The long range pull is much weaker than either magnet separately. That's the most stable (lowest energy) way for them to stick together. Right near the ends the result is more complicated.
If you put them in a tube so they stick end-to-end (north end of one on south end of the other, other ends far apart) at a distance the field strength is just the sum of the fields from the two magnets, double those from a single magnet. Again, the fields up closer are more complicated.
(published on 04/17/2011)
Follow-Up #1: Separation force of two magnets
- Tim Moen (age 57)
Cabool, Missouri, USA
The force separating the two identical magnets should be about the same as of one magnet stuck to a steel plate. The reason is that when one magnet approaches the plate, it effectively 'sees' its mirror image and is attracted to it with the same force as a real one.
I did a simple experiment with some bar magnets I have around the lab and just making a guess it seemed like the two separation forces were the same.
LeeH (I once visited Cabool)
(published on 12/16/2013)