# Will magnetic opposites EVER repel each other?

I am in an arguement with someone on another mb about this. They are making claims that there are certain cases in which magnetic opposites WILL repel each other.

I just want to make sure I am right in saying that there is no case in which this is true.

The magnetic pole of the Earth which is located in the Arctic is called the North Magnetic Pole, but it attracts the north pole and repels the south pole of other magnets. This has nothing to do with physics, of course; it’s just a quirk of nomenclature. But one could cite this as a case of unlike poles repelling.

That site looks like utter garbage; there are nuggets of real physics in it, but there are many undefined terms. Also, it relies entirely on the work of Dewey Larson, who may or may not have been a crank (actually, he was definitely a crank, but he may or may not have been wrong).

So far as I’m aware the magnetic force is always attractive between opposites (check out the other posts).

But try throwing magnet A at magnet B so N meets south. If you throw hard enough, won’t it bounce off? The objects repulsed each other briefly, although there was a magnetic attraction.

What a coincidence, I’ve been doing “experiments” with magnets with my son: I did this just today. A weak magnet will be attached to a much stronger magnet regardless of polarity.

Darn it, my son was bugging me about his electromagnet and I misread the OP. Ok, yesterday’s experiment, I held a much stronger magnets’s South pole against a weak creramic disk magnet’s South pole. The sum of these fields was a Weaker South pole at the ceramic magnet’s North pole. This is a bit of cheating, but demonstrates how fields add.

There is still a repelling force between the two magnets, but the attractive force is stronger. You can observe this by turning the small magnet around and observing that the force required to pull it away is greater than the force required when the like poles are touching.