Interacting Magnetic Fields

When we bring two magnets close together, their fields interact. The fields combine together to produce one unified field.

Each part of the field has strength and direction represented by how densely packed the field lines are, and the arrows on the field lines. When two fields are combined they must be added together.

Picture field lines like flowing water. If we spray two jets of water at each other they will bounce off one another and diverge in different directions. This is similar to how the magnetic fields look when two similar poles are brought together. There is a unique region of the field in this example where the field is equal and opposite and exactly cancels out. It is highlighted in the image below.

If we combine the jets in the same direction, they will add together to form a stronger flow. This is what happens when the magnetic fields of two similar poles meet.

The image below illustrates this: