| Does the magnetic field affect gravity?|
|Question Date: 2016-01-20|
That is actually a very 'modern' question,
because scientists are still debating that.
Some scientists in France say that their
measurements say that the magnetic field does
affect gravity. By how much? Well, it
depends on where you are on earth. We know that
the magnetic field is stronger near the poles and
weaker near the equator, and some scientists have
calculated that gravity does differ from place to
place. However, we still don't have experimental
evidence from this and many scientists are not
convinced that they do affect each other. Maybe
someday we'll find out.
Great question! The short answer is no.
Gravity is a field caused by the mass of the
center of the earth. It draws objects to the
center of the earth (which when we drop something,
the center of the earth appears as "down").
The magnetic field is a separate thing
affecting the earth. It causes the needle on
our compasses to point to north, it causes the
northern lights, and it allows geese to fly south
for the winter.
For the most part they are very separate
Magnetic fields contain energy, and energy can
exert a gravitational field. Aside from that, no,
gravity and magnetism are different forces.
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