DISCOVER

# What Happens When Two North Pole Magnets Come Together?

Updated February 21, 2017

Magnets are objects that attract items made of certain types of metals. All magnets have two poles that emit opposing forces. The ends of a magnet are called the north-seeking pole and the south-seeking pole. They got these names because, when suspended on a string or immersed in water, the north-seeking pole will point toward the Earth's North Pole, while the south-seeking pole will point toward the Earth's South Pole. One unusual fact about magnets is that if, for instance, a bar magnet is cut in half, each piece will still retain its north and south pole charges.

## The Anatomy of a Magnet

Magnets are objects that attract items made of certain types of metals. All magnets have two poles that emit opposing forces. The ends of a magnet are called the north-seeking pole and the south-seeking pole. They got these names because, when suspended on a string or immersed in water, the north-seeking pole will point toward the Earth's North Pole, while the south-seeking pole will point toward the Earth's South Pole. One unusual fact about magnets is that if, for instance, a bar magnet is cut in half, each piece will still retain its north and south pole charges.

## The Attraction of Charges

Opposite poles of a magnet attract each other, whereas like poles repel each other. When lined up with a south-seeking pole, a north-seeking pole would draw closer to that end of the magnet. However, when lined up with another north-seeking pole, the two magnets would push away from each other because their forces are not compatible.

## Why Do Like Poles Repel?

The north-seeking and south-seeking poles on a magnet create a circular magnetic field that runs between them. When an opposite pole is introduced to that magnetic field, it is accepted because it doesn't interrupt the field. However, when a like pole is introduced, it is rejected because it would interrupt the magnetic field. A north-seeking pole cannot create a magnetic field with another north-seeking pole, so it pushes like poles away while drawing differing poles in.