# Dipole

In physics, there are two kinds of dipoles:

An electric dipole is a separation of positive and negative charge. The simplest example of this is a pair of electric charges of equal magnitude but opposite sign, separated by some, usually small, distance.

A magnetic dipole is a closed circulation of electric current. A simple example of this is a single loop of wire with some constant current flowing through it.

Dipoles can be characterized by their dipole moment, a vector quantity. For the simple electric dipole given above, the electric dipole moment would point from the negative charge towards the positive charge, and have a magnitude equal to the strength of each charge times the separation between the charges. For the current loop, the magnetic dipole moment would point through the loop (according to the right hand grip rule), with a magnitude equal to the current in the loop times the area of the loop.

In addition to current loops, the electron, among other fundamental particles, is said to have a magnetic dipole moment. This is because it generates a magnetic field which is identical to that generated by a very small current loop. However, to the best of our knowledge, the electron's magnetic moment is not due to a current loop, but is instead an intrinsic property of the electron. It is also possible that the electron has an electric dipole moment, although this has not yet been observed.

For more, visit the Wikipedia entry for aqueous solution, URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipole