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Magnetic susceptibility and permeability

In a large class of materials there exists an approximately linear relationship between ${\bfm M}$ and ${\bfm H}$. If the material is isotropic then
\begin{displaymath}
{\bfm M} = \chi_m {\bfm H},
\end{displaymath} (545)

where $\chi_m$ is called the magnetic susceptibility. If $\chi_m$ is positive the material is called paramagnetic, and the magnetic field is strengthened by the presence of the material. If $\chi_m$ is negative then the material is diamagnetic and the magnetic field is weakened in the presence of the material. The magnetic susceptibilities of paramagnetic and diamagnetic materials are generally extremely small. A few sample values are given in Table 1.10

Table 1: Magnetic susceptibilities of some paramagnetic and diamagnetic materials at room temperature
Material $\chi_m$
Aluminium $2.3\times 10^{-5}$
Copper $-0.98\times 10^{-5}$
Diamond $-2.2\times 10^{-5}$
Tungsten $6.8\times 10^{-5}$
Hydrogen (1 atm) $-0.21\times 10^{-8}$
Oxygen (1 atm) $209.0\times 10^{-8}$
Nitrogen (1 atm) $-0.50\times 10^{-8}$


A linear relationship between ${\bfm M}$ and ${\bfm H}$ also implies a linear relationship between ${\bfm B}$ and ${\bfm H}$. In fact, we can write

\begin{displaymath}
{\bfm B} = \mu {\bfm H},
\end{displaymath} (546)

where
\begin{displaymath}
\mu = \mu_0(1+ \chi_m)
\end{displaymath} (547)

is termed the magnetic permeability of the material in question. (Likewise, $\mu_0$ is termed the permeability of free space.) It is clear from Table 1 that the permeabilities of common diamagnetic and paramagnetic materials do not differ substantially from that of free space. In fact, to all intents and purposes the magnetic properties of such materials can be safely neglected (i.e., $\mu =\mu_0$).


next up previous
Next: Ferromagnetism Up: The effect of dielectric Previous: Magnetization
Richard Fitzpatrick 2002-05-18