What Type of Force Exists Between the North & South Magnetic Poles?

By Walter Unglaub

The south magnetic pole is located at the north geodetic or geographic pole. Find out what type of force exists between the north and south poles with help from an experienced physics professional in this free video clip.

Transcript

Hello, my name is Walter Unglaub, and this is what type of force exists between the north and south magnetic poles. So the first thing to note is that here I have the Earth and that the north magnetic pole is actually located in the geodetic or geographic south pole. Likewise the south magnetic pole is located at the north geodetic or geographic pole. So what type of force exists well because we have magnetic poles here the planet actually has a magnetic field. And conventionally this magnetic field will flow in the direction from the north magnetic pole to the south magnetic pole. This magnetic field is hypothesized to be generated from the dynamo action of the iron inside of the mantle inside of the Earth. So as currents flow inside a magnetic field will be generated. So you might ask what type of force exists here. Well it's a Lawrence force and it will act on charged particles that come in from the sun. So these charged particles can be electrons, they can be protons. The point is they have a charge and when they feel the presence of the magnetic field, the field will exert a force on them equal to the charged q times the velocity of the charged particle cross product with the magnetic field. Notice how this force is a vector so is the velocity and so is the magnetic field. The force will be positive if the charge is positive and negative if the charge is negative. So depending on the charge of the particle it will either gyrate towards the north magnetic pole or gyrate about the magnetic field towards the south magnetic pole. As a last comment, we can actually measure the strength of the magnetic field approximately on the surface of the Earth and it turns out that it is a relatively weak magnetic field compared to the fields that you might experience when playing around with toy magnets. So this field is approximately anywhere from 25 to 65 microtesla where micro is one times ten to the six and this is equivalent to a range of .25 to 0.65 Gouse. These are simply two different units to describe a magnetic field. Tesla and Gouse. My name is Walter Unglaub and this is what type of force exists between the north and south magnetic poles.

About the Author

Walter Unglaub graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Engineering Physics and a M.S. Applied Physics.