My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I will explain the following topic:

# Magnetic Dipole - Torque, Energy and Force

Consider a rectangular conducting loop with side lengths $$a$$ and $$b$$. Let the loop be rotatable around the axis parallel to the side $$a$$. Let us call this axis $$\text{C}$$. Let the loop be non-rotatable around the axis parallel to $$b$$. In addition, the loop is traversed by an electric current $$\class{red}{I}$$.

Let $$\boldsymbol{A}$$ be the orthogonal surface vector representing the area $$A$$ enclosed by the loop and orientation of this surface area (it is orthogonal to the surface area). With the right hand rule and the given current direction, the direction of $$\boldsymbol{A}$$ is uniquely determined. The magnetic dipole moment is thus given by definition by the following formula:

If the loop is now placed in a homogeneous external magnetic field $$\class{violet}{\boldsymbol{B}}$$, then the loop will rotate until $$\boldsymbol{A}$$ and $$\class{violet}{\boldsymbol{B}}$$ point in the same direction. During the rotation around the axis $$\text{C}$$ the loop has a torque $$\boldsymbol{M}$$ along $$\text{C}$$. A formula for the torque is derived below.

## Torque

The torque $$\boldsymbol{M}$$ about an axis of rotation $$\text{C}$$ is defined as the cross product of the distance $$\boldsymbol{r}$$ of the conductor piece from the axis of rotation and the force $$\boldsymbol{F}$$ acting on the conductor piece:

The first parallel piece of conductor of length $$a$$, which is in a homogeneous magnetic field $$\class{violet}{\boldsymbol{B}}$$, experiences the Lorentz force (magnetic force) acts:

Here the vector $$\boldsymbol{a}$$ runs along the piece of conductor. Analogously, the force can also be written with the current vector: $$a \, \boldsymbol{I} ~\times~ \class{violet}{ \boldsymbol{B} }$$. Then the current is a vector indicating the direction of the current along the conductor and $$a$$ is a scalar.

A magnetic force also acts on the second conductor piece, in which the current points in the opposite direction. However, this force points in the opposite direction:

The vector $$\boldsymbol{r}$$ in Eq. 2 is the distance of the conductor piece of length $$a$$ from the axis $$\text{C}$$. That is $$\boldsymbol{r}$$ is parallel to $$\boldsymbol{b}$$. This distance is for the first conductor piece: $$\boldsymbol{r}_1 = \frac{\boldsymbol{b}}{2}$$. The opposite second conductor piece, on the other hand, is at the same distance but in the opposite direction: $$\boldsymbol{r}_2 = -\frac{\boldsymbol{b}}{2}$$. Both parts with the corresponding forces 3 and 4 contribute to the torque $$\boldsymbol{M}$$. Thus, Eq. 2 becomes:

Now insert the Lorentz force 3 into Eq. 5:

The double cross product can be simplified. The cross product $$\boldsymbol{b} \times \boldsymbol{a}$$ is orthogonal to $$\boldsymbol{a}$$ and $$\boldsymbol{b}$$ and corresponds exactly to the surface orthogonal vector $$\boldsymbol{A}$$. Thus, Eq. 6 becomes:

If the magnetic dipole moment 1 is inserted into Eq. 7, the relationship between the torque, magnetic dipole moment and external magnetic field is obtained:

The magnitude of the torque 8 is thus:

Here $$\varphi$$ is the angle between the vectors $$\boldsymbol{\mu}$$ and $$\class{violet}{ \boldsymbol{B} }$$.

## Potential energy

With the help of the derived torque the potential energy $$W_{\mu}$$ of the magnetic dipole can be derived.

The work $$W$$ done by the external magnetic field to rotate the dipole is given by:

The magnitude $$M$$ of the torque from Eq. 2 is given by:

The angle $$\alpha$$ between the position vector $$\boldsymbol{r}$$ and the force $$\boldsymbol{F}$$ is 90 degrees here, because the force can be split into a part $$\boldsymbol{r}$$ parallel to $$\boldsymbol{F}_{|}$$ and into a part $$\boldsymbol{r}$$ orthogonal to $$\boldsymbol{F}_{\perp}$$. The parallel part does not contribute to the work done. Therefore, Eq. 11 can also be written as follows:

With the help of Eq. 12 the force in integral 10 can be expressed with the torque $$M$$ ($$F:=F_{\perp}$$):

The $$\text{d}s$$ element is expressed in polar coordinates as $$\text{d}s = -r \,\text{d}\varphi$$ (minus sign because $$\text{d}s$$ points opposite to $$\text{d}\varphi$$). When substituting into Eq. 11, $$r$$ cancels out. In this way, the work done by the magnetic field is expressed with the help of the given torque:

Now put the torque magnitude 10 into Eq. 14. Integrate over the angle from $$\pi/2$$ to a variable angle $$\varphi$$. (The lower limit $$\pi/2$$ was chosen so that the zero point of the potential energy is set to zero):

The potential energy $$W_{\mu}$$ of the magnetic dipole corresponds to the negative work $$W$$ done by the external magnetic field: $$W_{\mu} = - W$$. Thus the potential energy of the magnetic dipole is given by:

Or expressed compactly with the help of the scalar product:

## Force

A conservative force $$\boldsymbol{F}$$ can be written as a gradient of the potential energy $$W_{\text{pot}}$$:

Here, $$\nabla$$ is the nabla operator. Substituting the potential energy 17 of the magnetic dipole into Eq. 18 yields:

The minus signs cancel out and we get the formula for the force:

If $$\boldsymbol{\mu}$$ is position-independent, Eq. 20 can alternatively be written as follows:

Eq. 21 is to be understood in such a way: A matrix $$\nabla \class{violet}{\boldsymbol{B}}$$ (in the three-dimensional case a 3x3 matrix) is applied to the vector $$\boldsymbol{\mu}$$. The result is again a vector, namely the force $$\boldsymbol{F}$$.

Validity of the derived equations: Even if the torque (and thus also energy and force) was derived with the help of a rectangular loop, the derived equations are valid for arbitrarily shaped loops, because the equations do not contain any geometrical quantities.