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If you are a fan of CBS' The Big Bang Theory, you may remember an episode in Season 2 where Sheldon decides to spend the summer at the north pole searching for the elusive "Magnetic Monopole", hoping such a discovery would win him the Nobel Prize.
This is not fiction at all, as scientists for the last 80 years have been seeking a solitary magnetic particle that is the equivalent of a solitary electric charge. If they exist, magnetic monopoles must be extremely rare, and to date, no one has conclusively found one. But the search continues...
The interested reader may wish to check out the following links:
"Magnetic Moment." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
"Magnetic Dipole." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Acosta D. Magnetic dipoles. PHY2061 Enriched Physics Notes, University of Florida, 2006. An excellent college-level physics set of diagrams explaining the dipole and related concepts. Even has an understandable explanation of why magnets stick together on pp 4-5 (in case you wondered).
What causes magnetism?