Monopole? Nuts!


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Monopole? Nuts!

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Oct 6, 2006, 3:49pm

I have two friends (at least). One, holding a degree in physics, claims a uniformly charged hollow sphere is a monopole. Not only that but (wait for it) this could destroy our planet and probably the universe, which I suppose could be true - I don't know. My other friend, who never took second semester physics in college (not his major) asks, "Why wouldn't that be a monopole, and why wouldn't the only person who knows that be a poet in a small city in the South?". My education level on this matter is somewhere in between. Can anybody a)help me out with some short layman explanations and b) help me find some books geared towards the humble masses?

Oct 6, 2006, 10:51pm

Please, somebody help us! There is drinking and tempers are running high!

Oct 7, 2006, 3:37pm

A uniformly charged hollow sphere would be an electric monopole. Magnetic monopoles have never (reliably) been observed, though some physics-beyond-the-Standard-Model theories predict them.

I'll suggest the Wikipedia article on magnetic monopoles for more information.

4colinflipper Primer Mensaje
Nov 25, 2007, 6:57pm

As an undergrad, I worked one summer with Blas Cabrera (of the Valentine's Day monopole). Evidently, he still keeps the detector cold and operational. The detection was probably just a fluke, but it still makes a great story.

Also, I realize now that I am posting this response over a year after all the other comments on this thread. But hey, if anyone else wants to talk about monopoles, let's do it.

Feb 13, 2008, 10:15pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Feb 13, 2008, 11:08pm


No, the shape of the Earth is not affected by magnetic fields.

Editado: Feb 14, 2008, 12:17am

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Feb 14, 2008, 8:40am

It's not that either. It's because Earth's rotation has a centrifugal effect (rotational speed at the equator is nearly 1,000 mph; at the poles, it's all but 0 mph). Jupiter, a much larger planet than Earth, has a much shorter day -- 10 hours -- and therefore bulges, proportionally, even more than Earth.