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MIT Physics 8.02 - Electricity & Magnetism

SECTION : Forces and Torques on Dipoles        

SUBJECT: Three Interactive Dipoles  
Fullscreen Version  

An interactive simulation in two dimensions of a group of only three electric dipoles. To see all three dipoles you may have to zoom out (control shift drag with left mouse button). The three dipoles are created with random positions and orientations, with all the electric dipole vectors in the plane of the display. Although in principle the dipole-dipole interaction can be either repulsive or attractive, in practice there is a torque that rotates the dipoles so that the dipole-dipole force is attractive. In the simulation we see this behavior-that is, the dipoles orient themselves so as to attract, and then the attraction gathers them together into bound structures. The dipoles can be repositioned by clicking and dragging them with the mouse.



Instructions (popup window)  
Restart Simulation  
NOTE: You will need the Macromedia Shockwave Plugin to view this simulation. If you do not already have it, it will be downloaded automatically if you are connected to the Internet.