SIX Things to Know About Magnets
Almost everyone knows these six basic facts about how magnets behave:
1, A magnet has two ends called poles, one of which is called a north pole or north-seeking pole, while the other is called a south pole or south-seeking pole.
2, The north pole of one magnet attracts the south pole of a second magnet, while the north pole of one magnet repels the other magnet’s north pole. So we have the common saying: like poles repel, unlike poles attract.
3, A magnet creates an invisible area of magnetism all around it called a magnetic field.
4, The north pole of a magnet points roughly toward Earth’s north pole and vice-versa. That’s because Earth itself contains magnetic materials and behaves like a gigantic magnet.
5, If you cut a bar magnet in half, it’s a bit like cutting an earthworm in half! You get two brand new, smaller magnets, each with its own north and south pole. (This is, of course, a joke. You don’t get two worms if you cut a worm in half. But you do get two magnets.)
6, If you run a magnet a few times over an unmagnetized piece of a magnetic material (such as an iron nail), you can convert it into a magnet as well. This is called magnetization.
The magnetic properties of materials are mainly due to the magnetic moments of their atoms’ orbiting electrons. The magnetic moments of the nuclei of atoms are typically thousands of times smaller than the electrons’ magnetic moments, so they are negligible in the context of the magnetization of materials. Nuclear magnetic moments are nevertheless very important in other contexts, particularly in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). hsmag magnets services
A ferromagnet, like a paramagnetic substance, has unpaired electrons. However, in addition to the electrons’ intrinsic magnetic moment’s tendency to be parallel to an applied field, there is also in these materials a tendency for these magnetic moments to orient parallel to each other to maintain a lowered-energy state. Thus, even in the absence of an applied field, the magnetic moments of the electrons in the material spontaneously line up parallel to one another.
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