Classical Physics


Photonic Dipole Contours

Authors: Michael Snyder, Jonathan Frederick

Understanding magnetic fields is important to facilitate magnetic applications in diverse fields in industry, commerce, and space exploration to name a few. Large electromagnets can move heavy loads of metal. Magnetic materials attached to credit cards allow for fast, accurate business transactions. And the Earth's magnetic field gives us the colorful auroras observed near the north and south poles. Magnetic fields are not visible, and therefore often hard to understand or characterize. This investigation describes and demonstrates a novel technique for the visualization of magnetic fields. Two ferrofluid Hele-Shaw cells have been used to facilitate the imaging of magnetic field lines [1,2,3,4]. We deduce that magnetically induced photonic band gap arrays similar to electrostatic liquid crystal operation are responsible for the photographed images and seek to mathematically prove the images are of exact dipole nature. We also note by comparison that our photographs are very similar to solar magnetic Heliosphere photographs.

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Submission history

[v1] 14 Jan 2008

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