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The magnetic monopole, or magnetic point source (as opposed to the conventional concept of a north-south magnetic dipole), is again in the news, as it has been off and on for the past 50 years. Perhaps it is more precise to say that another episode in the continuing search for the elusive monopole is underway.

In a recent report by the National Science Foundation (Mosaic, 12, 1981, p. 19) it was stated of the monopole, ‘If there is a dogma in modern physics, it might be that in nature anything not expressly forbidden to exist by a specific law must be presumed to exist… Physicists are just going to have to get clever enough to find them.’ In the eyes of the numerous investigators who have searched, monopoles are not just objects that exist by theoretical default, they are arcane, perhaps, but real.