Question
Wed May 04, 2011 By: Giselle Soares
 

if a dipole is placed in a uniform magnetic field, what will it experience? a torque or a force or both or will it remain stationary? what if the same dipole is placed in a non-uniform electric field? what will it experience? and in what situation will the dipole not experience anything in a uniform and non-uniform electric field?

Expert Reply
Wed May 04, 2011
If a dipole is placed in a uniform magnetic field, it experiences a torque but no force. When a dipole is placed in a non uniform electric field, it experiences a non zero net force as well as torque.a dipole will rotate to align with an uniform electric ?eld, but feel no net force.Since the dipole tends to rotate, it must experience a nettorque.If the ?eld is not uniform, the dipole will experiencea net force.This means the force depends on how the ?eld changes.If the dipole is allowed to rotate it will come toequilibrium (if there are losses in the system) with its dipole moment aligned with the ?eld.This behavior implies thedipole is seeking the minimum in some potential energy function.
 
The dipole experiences either a force or torque or both in given situations.
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