What Is A Magnet

What is A Magnet

Permanent Magnets

Temporary Magnets



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  • mag·net/ˈmagnət/

    1. An ore, alloy, or other metallic material such as iron pieces, whose atoms are so ordered that it exhibits magnetism.
    2. An object or being that possesses powerful attraction: "a magnet for success".
    lodestone - loadstone - magneto
  • A magnet is an object that carries a static magnetic field around it.  It attracts bits and particles of predominantly iron and steel, but also nickel and cobalt.  Early Greeks discovered that iron pieces naturally gravitated toward 'lodestone' and began the journey into magnets as we understand them.

    Magnets may be of three types:

    • Permanent Magnets
    • Temporary Magnets
    • Electromagnets

    Each type will vary in composition and typical use.

    Shapes and Sizes:

    Magnets may be found in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some of the most typical are:

    horseshew magnetHorseshoe Magnet

    bar magnetBar Magnet

    circular magnetCircular Magnet

    How Magnets Work

    Every magnet has a North and South Pole.  Poles that are alike repel each other.  Poles that are different attract each other.  For instance, if a magnet's North Pole was facing another magnet's North Pole, you would encounter resistance when trying to touch the two ends together.  If you touch one magnet's South Pole with another magnet's North Pole, there would be no resistance and they would touch easily. 

    Mismatched Poles repel
    Matched Polesattract

    These are just some of the basic concepts of magnetism. One cannot possibly grasp the depth and appreciate the versatility of magnets without reading more about the uses of magnets, the Earth as a huge magnet and electromagnetism among other things.

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