Magnetic Monopoles Detected In A Real Magnet For The First Time (external - login to view)
This is kinda neat stuff. Here's more:
www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten...t/326/5951/411 (external - login to view)
I caught a bit of this on The National last night - it sounds fascinating - wish I understood a bit more about physics - they said the findings could impact everything w currently know about physics - right down to first year university text books on the subject. Apparently Canada is playing a pretty big role in this experiment - particularly the U of A. Cool stuff!
Well, I think the news media exaggerated a bit when they said "everything" about our knowledge in physics would be impacted...
is a monopole a magnet that only attracts or repels?
Actually, for once they didn't. If even one magnetic monopole exists anywhere in the cosmos, there's going to have to be a fundamental rewrite of physics. Magnetism in both classical and quantum physics is a byproduct of moving electric charges, and according to that understanding magnetic monopoles cannot exist.
Both. It would mean that both isolated north and south magnetic poles can exist, and they'd behave the same way as electric charges: like charges repel, unlike charges attract. We've never seen anything but magnetic dipoles, with both a north and south pole. Finding a monopole would be a staggering bit of news.