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Q & A: Magnetic field mass

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Most recent answer: 08/04/2012
Q:
Thankyou for your explanations so far about magnetic v gravitational forces. At a very simplified level am I right in understanding that magnetic forces have mass and are therefore a part of the overall mass of an object and its gravitational force?
- H Waldon (age 50)
Australia, NSW
A:
Yes, but that effect is very tiny. Let's say you have a lab magnet that fills 1000 cm3 of space with a very high field of 105 G. That field has an energy of (roughly) 1012 ergs. That corresponds to a mass of 10-9 grams. So for most purposes we just forget about it.

Mike W.

(published on 08/04/2012)

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