40 Things Your Did Not Know About Magnets

Table of Contents

What is a temporary magnet?

Temporary magnets are those made from soft iron and are easy to magnetize. However, they lose most of the magnetic properties once you disconnect the magnetizing cause. Some temporary magnets include screws, iron nails, metal bolts, paper clips, kitchen utensils, and thumb tacks.

What is a permanent magnet?

A permanent magnet is a material whose magnetic field comes from its internal structure. Unlike temporary magnets, permanent magnets maintain their magnetism unless demagnetized. The strength of permanent magnets varies depending on the material.

Which statement is true of Magnets?

What are three similarities between magnets and electricity?

  • They have opposite sides. Positive and negative for electricity and north and south poles for magnets.
  • The like poles in both repel while the opposite attract.
  • Electric fields point towards a positive charge's direction, while magnetic fields face the direction of the north pole's force.

How are magnets labeled?

Magnets come with a north and south pole, but unless labeled, it's hard to tell which side is which. Usually, the north pole is marked ‘N' and colored red, while the south pole is labeled ‘S' and colored blue.

If you get an unlabeled magnet, you can identify the poles by having your magnet in front of a compass. The compass needle that usually points to the earth's north pole moves towards your magnet's south pole.

Alternatively, you can angle your magnet from a string and watch where it settles. The magnet’s north pole will tilt and face the earth’s north magnetic pole, while the magnet’s south pole faces the earth’s south magnetic pole.

Which material cannot be made into a magnet?

Materials can only be made into magnets if atoms' crystalline structure is oriented in a way that every atom faces the same direction. Magnetization can only happen in ferromagnetic materials whose particles are not usually arranged in their native nature, meaning they need magnetization.

When you magnetize a metal, you can achieve a permanent magnet, an electromagnet, or a temporary magnet.
Iron, cobalt, and nickel are the three magnetic materials, plus alloys like ferrite, alnico, permalloy, plus different types of steel and stainless steel.

You cannot magnetize metals including aluminum, brass, gold, silver, copper, titanium, lead, and tungsten. They are also not attracted to magnetic fields.

What is a bar magnet?

Bar magnets are rectangular pieces of metal made using ferromagnetic substances or composites and have the properties of a permanent magnet. While most are rectangular, you can also find cylindrical bar magnets.

What are the three properties of a magnet?

  • Magnets only attract ferromagnetic substance.
  • Like magnetic poles repel, while opposite poles attract.
  • When freely suspended, magnets always rest with one pole facing north, and the other south.

Why are paper clips attracted to magnets?

Paper clips are made using steel, one of the main ferromagnetic materials.

Why do magnets mess up computers?

We have all heard the theory that having magnets close to a computer can ruin it. While it will take a very powerful magnet to do so, there is a possibility of experiencing some damage, especially within your hard drive.

Hard drives usually have a magnet inside that controls read-write head movements. If you place a powerful magnet over your hard drive, there are chances that it will clear the data in it. If it doesn’t, your hard drive might experience other operational issues.

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A magnet might also affect your cables, although the effect is usually minimal. This happens when you use unshielded cables like ribbon cables.

What was the earliest use of magnets?

The use and discovery of magnets date back to 2,500 BC in Ancient China. They were the first to document magnets when they made the Epang Palace gates using lodestone, also known as magnetite. This made it impossible for enemies wearing steel armors to penetrate the city.

In 550 BC, the Greeks made another magnet discovery when a shepherd, Magnus, noticed how hard it was to walk up the mountains. He later realized that his shoes had steel nails that always stuck to a rock that turned out to be a lodestone.

The Chinese were the first to make a magnetic compass after placing lodestone on cork and realizing it always aligned to a specific direction. They created their first south-pointing compass around 500 BC.

What are the three properties of a magnet?

  • Magnetic poles only come in pairs.
  • When you magnetize non-ferromagnetic materials, they make temporary magnets, while ferromagnetic materials make permanent magnets.
  • Magnetic fields can pass through non-magnetic materials like paper.

What do magnets attract to?

Magnets only attract ferromagnetic metals like iron, cobalt, steel, manganese, nickel, lodestone, and gadolinium. They also attract alloys of these metals.

How to get magnets stickers off car?

Magnetic stickers are good because they last a long time. However, removing them without damaging your car paint can be challenging once they start fading or their purpose is done. Here are some steps to remove the sticker and maintain your car paint in perfect condition.

1. Use heat

The first thing you need to do is clean the sticker and its surrounding with soap and water. This helps remove debris and particles that would scratch the car. Next, heat it with a blow dryer to weaken the bonds between the magnets and the vehicle. Ensure to distribute the heat evenly for an even and clean peel.

2. Use an adhesive solvent

Once the magnet is hot, use a plastic object to peel off the edges and spray the sticker with an adhesive solvent. Let this soak for a few minutes to remove any adhesive that might still have the sticker on your car. This ensures that once you peel it off, you are not left with white substances that need cleaning afterward.

3. Peel it off

Use the edges you had previously raised to peel off the sticker manually. You can use a steam cleaner to apply steam to your magnet for an easier peel.

4. Wash the car

Finally, wash the entire car and finish off by waxing it.

How to remove magnet from stomach?

Research indicates that swallowed magnets are a leading cause of gastrointestinal FBs. If one magnet is swallowed, the doctor may administer a polyethylene glycol or stool softer to try and move it and force removal through excretion.

However, if it does not move, surgical intervention or endoscopic removal must be done. These methods are also immediately applied if someone swallows two magnets. This is because the magnets might attract, resulting in pressure in the stomach and other parts of the digestive tract.

This could result in perforation, ischemic necrosis, fistula formation, peritonitis, or obstruction. If the magnet is in the esophagus or stomach, doctors recommend an endoscopic removal within12 hours.

If the magnet passes the pylorus and there is no perforation, obstruction, or other symptoms, the doctor can remove it using a colonoscopy. However, if there are symptoms, they recommend immediate surgical removal.

How to remove a magnet from a steel door?

Steel is one of the items that magnets stick very hard onto. If you find a magnet attached to your door that is hard to remove, try using heat to reduce the magnet's strength, making it easier to remove.

When you heat the magnet, its atoms vibrate and move, destroying the alignment that makes it ferromagnetic. Depending on the magnet, it will either fall off the door or become easier to pull off. You can also try demagnetizing the magnet. One of the simplest methods is rubbing the magnet with a metallic object in both directions.

You can also hit the magnet with a hammer on both poles in an East to west direction or perpendicular to the magnetic fields in the earth. This shock causes an energy surge through the magnet, rearranging the atoms and reducing the magnetism.
Finally, if you know your way around electricity, you can demagnetize the magnet using electricity. When you pass an AC through a solenoid, it creates a magnetic field around that object. This destroys the atom alignment in the object, demagnetizing it.

How to open magnetic child locks without magnet

Magnetic child locks are essential when you have kids and want to keep valuable things away from them. This, however, becomes a headache if you misplace your magnet key. Here are some ways to open the lock without the key.

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Universal replacement key

These keys come with a magnetic key meant to open magnetic child locks. It's an advantage because you can also use it to open other places like cabinets. Unlike popular belief, these keys are not expensive, and you can find them in cabinet shops, hardware stores, or online platforms.

Use the emergency button

Slightly tilt your cabinet and feel for an emergency button, usually in a small hole. The cabinet doors usually lock after a rotating cylinder comes down when you lock your magnetic system.

Once you feel the hole, you must press that cylindrical rod upwards, opening the cabinets. If your fingers can't fit into the hole, use a rod and push it in a way that will not damage it.

Remove a few screws

If you can't wait for the replacement key, you should first find the screw that holds your lock in place and helps access the magnet. In these locks, it is usually one side of the lock.
The next step is locating the magnet. The simplest way is to slide a small metal under the lock. Once you find it, remove the ball bearing and unscrew any other screws to expose the spring in the lock. Once you remove the spring, you can easily open your lock.

What are the two ends of a magnet called?

Magnets have two ends called poles.

What like poles on a magnet do?

A magnet has 2 poles, North and South. If you have 2 magnets and bring them closer,

  • the like poles will repel each other and
  • opposite poles will attract each other.

How can magnets lose their magnetism?

The key to demagnetizing a magnet is rearranging the atoms in its internal structure. One way to do that is by hitting the magnet with a heavy object on one of its ends. That causes the particles to vibrate and move, disrupting the original formation.

Also Read: How does rust affect magnetism?

Another popular method is by using heat. Different ferromagnetic metals have different curie temperatures. That is the temperature at which thermal agitation causes them to lose their ferromagnetic properties. It determines how long you have to heat a magnet before it reduces or loses its magnetism.

Another way is by using electricity. You can use a commercial demagnetizer, an electric coil, or a solenoid powered by AC. When you turn on the demagnetizer, the current flowing through it creates a magnetic field around the magnet, destroying its initial atom alignment and eventually demagnetizing it.

How many poles are in a magnet?

There are two magnetic poles, the North and South Poles.

What makes a magnet magnetic?

Electrons in metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt have their atoms spinning in the same direction. That creates a magnetic force flowing from a south-seeking pole and a north-seeking pole, creating a magnetic field around the object.

Also See: How Do Water Molecules Act Like Little Magnets?

This, however, does not make the metals magnets yet. To magnetize them, there has to be another strongly magnetic substance in the existing magnetic field.

Why is an electromagnet classified as a temporary magnet?

One of the main ways to create magnets is by passing an electric current through a wire coiled around a non-magnetic substance. While these magnets are strong and used in different applications, they are considered temporary magnets because the material only has a magnetic field when the electric current flows through it.

How to spell magnet?

M – a – g – n – e – t

How are magnets different from other objects?

Unlike in magnets, electrons in other objects spin randomly, or equal electrons spin in opposite directions, canceling their magnetism.

What three materials are attracted to magnets?

Steel, iron, and nickel.

Why are magnets useful?

Magnets have evolved over the years and come in different sizes and types. Currently, they are used in various industries with different strengths.

One of the most common ways magnets helps us is in compasses that use magnetism to remain pointing towards the north. This has helped people in ships, aviation, and those who love hiking.

They are also heavily used in vehicles and generators to create electricity. They are also helpful in the mining industry because they help miners separate different materials.

The food industry also uses magnets to ensure no metals are in the food to avoid poisoning and allergic reactions.

We also use magnets in our daily lives in refrigerators with a magnetic strip all around to keep the door closed.

The medical field is another industry that heavily relies on magnetism in devices like MRI and NMR scans.

MRI uses magnet
Magnetic Resonance Machine

Magnets are also helpful in the transport industry, where we now have mag-lev trains that use magnets for hovering above the ground and moving at speeds of up to 200mph.

Also See: How are magnets used in real world?

Magnets are also used in recycling, jewelry making, household appliances, and furniture.

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When non-magnet materials become attracted to magnets

Paramagnetism is the phenomenon that happens when non-magnetic materials become attracted to either the north or south poles of a magnet. This mostly happens in materials that have unpaired electrons like oxygen.

Unpaired electrons spin in any direction, so if they are close to a magnetic material, their electrons spin in the same direction, making them attracted to the magnet.

Why do magnets repel and attract?

Magnets have a magnetic field around them created by the movement of their electrons. The magnetic field contains stored-up energy. When an object has stored-up energy, it will be pushed in the direction that causes that stored-up energy to reduce.

Therefore, if you have a south and north pole pointing at each other, bringing them together reduces the stored-up energy in their magnetic fields, causing them to attract and stick to each other. However, if you have like poles facing each other, the stored-up energy will increase as you push the magnets together, forcing them to move away from each other.

What are the two poles of a magnet?

Magnets have a south and north pole.

What happens if a dog eats a magnet?

Dogs are playful animals and love playing with things in their mouth. If your dog eats and swallows one magnet, there is a possibility it might pass through their digestive tract and pass through with stool without severe consequences.

However, if they swallow two magnets, they will become attracted to each other in the dog's intestinal tract. This might cause an obstruction because the magnets might attach to each other even though they are in different intestinal loops.

The pressure from the magnet attraction could also cause a blood flow obstruction that could result in intestinal perforation. If left unchecked, this causes bacterial infection and later septic peritonitis.

What materials are magnets attracted to?

Cobalt, manganese, and lodestone.

How do electromagnets and permanent magnets differ?

Permanent magnets don't lose their magnetism unless intentionally demagnetized. Electromagnets, on the other hand, lose their magnetism after electric current stops flowing through them.

How are electrons set up in a magnet?

The electrons around the nucleus usually spin in the same direction, producing magnetic force.

How do bar magnets interact with each other?

When you put like poles close (north and north pole), they repel. However, if you have opposite poles close, they attract.

Bar magnet and its poles
Bar Magnet and Its Poles

What type of metal is attracted to magnets?

Iron, nickel, cobalt, steel, manganese, and lodestone.

Why will dropping or heating a magnet weaken it?

Yes, dropping or heating a magnet causes the magnets' electrons to vibrate, disrupting their natural movement.

Besides a magnet, what can create a magnetic field?

You can create a magnetic field by passing a current through a conductor. The magnetic field created goes perpendicular to the flow of its surrounding electrons.

What are Domains in Magnets and How are magnetic domains arranged in a magnet?

The magnetic domain refers to a group of atoms whose magnetic fields are lined up in the same direction. Big magnets usually have two domains that have magnetization going in opposite directions. This helps reduce the magnetostatic energy stored in its magnetic field.

What is a Fusion Magnet ?

Human civilization depends on energy. We as humans are always trying to find sources of energy that are plentiful and sustainable. Nuclear Fusion Reactors are one such source.  Nuclear fusion is like creating your own mini-sun, a source of energy that is sustainable, economical and safe. The fusion reaction once kicked off will become self-sustaining meaning the reaction will continue on without need for too much external fuel. Currently we do not have one that can run for long periods of time. This is one of the hottest areas of research.

In a fusion reaction, two light nuclei merge to form a single heavier nucleus. The process releases energy because the total mass of the resulting single nucleus is less than the mass of the two original nuclei. The leftover mass becomes energy (This is what happens in the Sun).

However,  to combine them and kick off our reaction we need extremely high temperatures. Fusion reactors burn an ionized gas of hydrogen isotopes at more than 100 million degrees Celsius, so hot that the plasma has to be contained within a mesh of magnetic fields so it doesn't melt the reactor walls. These magnets are called fusion magnets

The fusion magnets help keep the hot plasma in its place. To build the fusion reactor successfully scientists must first build a powerful small fusion magnet. For example, Tokamak the fusion reactor being built by ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject by China, European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, United States will be building the largest superconducting fusion magnet system ever built. It uses  niobium alloy superconducting wires that can carry huge currents without resistance through magnet coils and is cooled using liquid helium. Building a powerful fusion magnet is fundamental to building a fusion reactor and a perennial, sustainable energy source.


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