# How do the poles on a magnet coagulate?

If you put two of the same poles of a magent together, they repel one another. My question is, though, if the same pole repels itself then how does one get the particles together on that one end of the pole?

Each particle also has a north and south pole. If you cut a mante in half, you won’t have a separate north and south magnet, you’ll have two magnets, each with a north and south pole of its own. Consider the following diagram:
NS
(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)
(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)
(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)
(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)
(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)(- +)
Each (- +) is an iron atom. We’ll say the end with the - is the north pole, and the end with the + is the south. You can see that no matter how small of a piece if the magnet you cut off, it still has a separate north and south pole.

It’s sort of like “static friction.” Once you magnetize some steel, the pattern of magnetization “gets stuck.” But if you magnetize soft iron with an electromagnet, the iron unmagnetizes itself as soon as you turn off the current.

Why?

Yes, it happens because the iron atoms behave as tiny electromagnets. But why do they align? And why do they stay aligned? Why don’t they instead form tight little circles with no large-scale magnetization?

I’ve always been curious about this. I think it happens because the atoms “prefer” to rotate their north/south poles so that they line up in straight filaments with neighboring atoms. In other words, the “N” of one atom will strongly attract the “S” of a neighbor, and the neigbor turns, but then the “N” of the neighbor strongly attracts the “S” of the next one in a straight line. So you end up with long straight chains of NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS with an “N” on one end and an “S” on the other:

NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS

NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS

NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS

NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS

This gives you a magnet with two opposite poles. Everything cancels out except this part:

N…S

N…S

N…S

N…S
If atoms didn’t form STRAIGHT chains of “NS” patterns, they still might be strongly magnetic atoms, and would still attract the opposite poles of neighboring atoms, yet instead would form non-magnets, like so:

NS
SN

It’s a closed loop. They stack up like below, but don’t
form large-scale magnet poles:

NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSN
SNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSN
SNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSN
SNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNS
Interesting: small magnet spheres (supermagnet beads) will do both of these patterns. You can line them up in filaments, then lay the filaments together, and this gives a powerful “N” on one end of the group, with a big “S” on the other end. Or you can let the magnet balls form little square loops, then pack the loops together. Again his gives you a solid block of little magnet balls, but with no overall N or S pole.

As Q.E.D.'s drawing indicates, “magnetic particles” don’t accumulate at the ends to form the poles. The magnetic fields of the individual, so-called, magnetic domains are align so that their magnetic fields are cumulative.

I don’t know where my typing skills went to there. Let’s pretend that said magnet. :rolleyes:

thanks for the info… ive asked some of my previous hs chemistry teachers and they never knew the answer.