The magnetic moment of a magnet is a quantity that determines the force that the magnet can exert on electric currents and the torque that a magnetic field will exert on it. A loop of electric current, a bar magnet, an electron, a molecule, and a planet all have magnetic moments.
Both the magnetic moment and magnetic field may be considered to be vectors having a magnitude and direction. The direction of the magnetic moment points from the south to north pole of a magnet. The magnetic field produced by a magnet is proportional to its magnetic moment as well. More precisely, the term magnetic moment normally refers to a system's magnetic dipole moment, which produces the first term in the multipole expansion of a general magnetic field. The dipole component of an object's magnetic field is symmetric about the direction of its magnetic dipole moment, and decreases as the inverse cube of the distance from the object.
Famous quotes containing the words magnetic and/or moment:
“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)