Experiments with magnets and our surroundings

What do magnetic fields look like?

Two bar magnets side by side, N by S, with a gap between them

Here are some better details of two magnets, with the N poles facing up on the left hand magnet, and down on the right hand magnet.

Here you can see how the field leaves North pole at the top of the magnet on the left, and then immediately enters the South pole at the top of the magnet on the right.  This is pulling the two magnets together.

This shows the magnetic field strength around these two magnets.  It is zero in the center between the two magnets, where the fields circulate around from one to the other.  It is strongest at the corners of the surfaces that face each other.  This is almost identical to the field of two magnets repelling each other.

Lets twist the magnet on the left by 90 degrees.

Two bar magnets side by side but with their fields perpendicular to each other.

Here are some details of two magnets, with the N poles facing up on the left hand magnet, and down on the right hand magnet.

Here you can see how the field leaves North pole at the right of the magnet on the left, and then twists around to enter the South pole at the top of the magnet on the right.  This is twisting the two magnets around to try to make the fields straighter in between them.

This shows the magnetic field strength around these two magnets.  It is zero at the bottom between the two magnets, where the fields circulate around from one to the other.  It is strongest at the top corners of the surfaces that face each other.