Disk Magnets

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Frequently Asked Questions...

How can I make a permanent magnet array with a horizontal field?

I’m trying to make an array of permanent magnets that maximizes the horizontal flux over about 24” of ground, and just above the ground. Eventually, I’d like to use a Helmholtz coil for this, but permanent magnets or electromagnets will have to do for now. I thought that I might try using several disc magnets standing upright buried just under the ground. Hopefully, the horizontal components will be just above the ground, and if arranged properly, will provide a net horizontal field. I would like to get the field to be radial as well, so I’m thinking of either creating a series of expanding circles or a spiral setup. Is this feasible, and if so what setup would maximize the horizontal force above ground? If you have any other suggestions, I’m all ears. Thanks!
P.S. The field does not need to be uniform as is produced by the Helmholtz coil.

Best Answer...


The Magnetic Field around a single bar magnet has cylindrical symmetry. So if the magnet is buried in any horizontal plane the field in that plane will be horizontal.

If you have more than one magnet the calculations using Pole Strengths is difficult although you could write a BASIC Program to do it.

The old method is best. Put your array of magnets under a sheet of heavy paper. Sprinkle Iron (Fe) filings on the paper and then arrange your magnets to get the desired field as shown by the filings pattern.
Best of Luck.