American Journal of Physics
American Association of Physics Teachers
We use simple symmetry arguments suitable for undergraduate students to demonstrate that the magnetic energy, forces, and torques between two uniformly magnetized spheres are identical to those between two point magnetic dipoles. These arguments exploit the equivalence of the field outside of a uniformly magnetized sphere with that of a point magnetic dipole, and pertain to spheres of arbitrary sizes, positions, and magnetizations. The point dipole/sphere equivalence for magnetic interactions may be useful in teaching and research, where dipolar approximations for uniformly magnetized spheres can now be considered to be exact. The work was originally motivated by interest in the interactions between collections of small neodymium magnetic spheres used as desk toys.
Edwards, B.F., Riffe, D.M., Ji, J.-Y., Booth, W.A. Interactions between uniformly magnetized spheres (2017) American Journal of Physics, 85 (2), pp. 130-134.