Magnetism is caused by the movement of tiny electric charges within atoms. When these electric charges align in the same direction, a north pole and south pole are created. North poles attract south poles, while equal poles repel each other.Continue Reading
Atoms consist of small electrical charges called protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons are positive, neutrons are electrically neutral and electrons are negative. The electrons circle the neutrons and protons, and each has a certain amount of spin. In many atoms, the electrons spin in opposite directions, which means that the total amount of spin is cancelled out.
In magnetic materials, however, the electrons spin in the same direction, and the material has the potential to become magnetic. If a material such as this is placed near a magnetic object, the electrons become aligned with their north and south poles facing opposite directions. When this happens, the material becomes a magnet.
When a north pole and south pole have been created, the magnet can be used to attract other magnets. If a north pole is placed within the magnetic field of the south pole of another magnet, there is a force of attraction. Magnetic fields are the invisible area of influence of a magnet.Learn more about Magnetism
The most basic law of magnetism is that like poles repel one another and unlike poles attract each othe.r This is easily observed when attempting to place two magnets with the same pole together. However, there are also some additional rules for magnetism.Full Answer >
Science Clarified states that magnetism affects the daily lives of people in a number of ways, including contributing to advances in medicine and personal safety. Magnets are used in many electronic machines and devices.Full Answer >
An electromagnetic crane uses magnetism to pick up and move objects, as opposed to a pincer or claw used by more traditional cranes, which makes it ideal for any lifting tasks involving metal. Electromagnetic cranes are often used in recycling plants or scrap yards due to the high amounts of metal that need to be moved.Full Answer >
According to the Galileo Project, William Gilbert discovered magnetism when he realized that the Earth functions as a giant magnet. Before his discovery, magnetic iron ore (also known as lodestone) was used in compasses, but its properties and functions were not understood.Full Answer >