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Q & A: magnetic monopoles

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Most recent answer: 03/16/2009
Q:
How would a magnetic monopoles field differ from classical electromagnetism? I've heard that due to the Helmholtz decomposition theorem that a magnetic monopole couldn't be a vector, more a scalar, if that. Much appreciated, Devon
- Devon (age 22)
Allendale, MI
A:
The magnetic monopole charge would have the same relation to the magnetic field that ordinary electric monopole charges have to the electric field. The magnetic charge would be a single number, not a vector, and not changing under rotations. Unlike the electric charge, however, it would change sign in a time-reversed description, just like the magnetic fields. The analogy would be complete, in that flowing magnetic monopoles would make electric fields the same way flowing electric charges make magnetic fields.

Mike W.

(published on 03/16/2009)

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