Dipole - Torque On A Dipole

Torque On A Dipole

Since the direction of an electric field is defined as the direction of the force on a positive charge, electric field lines point away from a positive charge and toward a negative charge.

When placed in an electric or magnetic field, equal but opposite forces arise on each side of the dipole creating a torque τ:

for an electric dipole moment p (in coulomb-meters), or

for a magnetic dipole moment m (in ampere-square meters).

The resulting torque will tend to align the dipole with the applied field, which in the case of an electric dipole, yields a potential energy of


The energy of a magnetic dipole is similarly


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