Video: Understanding Magnetic Interactions

Two bar magnets are placed on a flat table in the arrangement shown in the diagram. Will the magnets be attracted to each other or repelled by each other?

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Video Transcript

Two bar magnets are placed on a flat table in the arrangement shown in the diagram. Will the magnets be attracted to each other or repelled by each other?

The diagram shows us the two bar magnets as well as the way the north and the south pole on each magnet are arranged. We can see that, for the first bar magnet, this one here, the pole that’s closest to the second bar magnet is the south pole. And for the second bar magnet, the pole that’s closest to the first bar magnet is the north pole.

It’s at this point that we can recall how magnetic poles interact with one another. We can recall that like magnetic poles, that is, either a north and a north or a south and a south, will repel one another, whereas unlike magnetic poles attract one another. And this gives us the answer for how these two bar magnets will interact. We see that because two unlike poles are nearest one another, they’ll be drawn together according to this rule.

For our answer then, we can say that they will be attracted to each other. This will be the way that these magnets interact.

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