Definitions

lodestone

lodestone

[lohd-stohn]
lodestone: see magnetite.

Lodestone or loadstone refers to either:

Iron, steel and ordinary magnetite are attracted to a magnetic field, including the Earth's magnetic field. Only magnetite with a particular crystalline structure, lodestone, can act as a natural magnet and attract and magnetize iron. The name "magnet" comes from lodestones found in a place called Magnesia.

In China, the earliest literary reference to magnetism lies in a 4th century BCE book called Book of the Devil Valley Master (鬼谷子): "The lodestone makes iron come or it attracts it." The earliest mention of the attraction of a needle appears in a work composed between 20 and 100 CE (Louen-heng): "A lodestone attracts a needle." By the 12th century the Chinese were known to use the lodestone compass for navigation. Also vikings used lodestone for navigation.

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