## Magnetic Potential EnergyA magnetic dipole moment in a magnetic field will possess potential energy which depends upon its orientation with respect to the magnetic field. Since magnetic sources are inherently dipole sources which can be visualized as a current loop with current I and area A, the energy is usually expressed in terms of the magnetic dipole moment:
The energy is expressed as a scalar product, and implies that the energy is lowest when the magnetic moment is aligned with the magnetic field. The difference in energy between aligned and anti-aligned is The expression for magnetic potential energy can be developed from the expression for the magnetic torque on a current loop. These relationships for a finite current loop extend to the magnetic dipoles of electron orbits and to the intrinsic magnetic moments associated with electron spin and nuclear spin. | Index Magnetic field concepts Currents as magnetic sources | |||

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