Magnetism

A:

The electromagnetic spectrum gives the range of all the different kinds of electromagnetic radiation. Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but it covers only a small portion of the spectrum.

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  • What are magnets made of?

    Q: What are magnets made of?

    A: Magnets are made of ferromagnetic materials that have been magnetized. Ferromagnetic materials include nickel, iron, rare earth elements and naturally occurring minerals such as lodestone.
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  • How do I describe how a compass needle aligns itself?

    Q: How do I describe how a compass needle aligns itself?

    A: A compass needle is made of magnetized material and points toward Earth's north magnetic pole no matter which direction the compass faces. Therefore, it is an excellent low-tech tool with which to find direction. Earth has a powerful magnetic field that emanates from the axis of rotation. Magnets are created from materials whose electrons all point the same direction and are attracted to an opposite charge.
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  • How can I determine the positive and negative sides of a magnet?

    Q: How can I determine the positive and negative sides of a magnet?

    A: The north and south poles, often called the negative and positive sides, of a magnet are determined by using the directional properties of magnets. The north pole of the magnet is attracted to Earth's geographical north pole, and the south pole is attracted to Earth's geographical south pole.
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  • How does a ship's compass work?

    Q: How does a ship's compass work?

    A: Gyroscopic compasses are used aboard transportation such as ships and airplanes. Spinning gyroscopes copy the behavior of a magnetic compass by using a magnetic compass as a reference. A motor keeps the gyroscope spinning, so it continues to point true north despite movement of the frame. A gyroscope adjusts itself quickly even in turbulence and rough seas.
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  • What metals are magnetic?

    Q: What metals are magnetic?

    A: Nickel, iron and cobalt are magnetic metals. Most other metals, including gold, copper, silver and magnesium, are generally not magnetic, although some of these metals might become slightly magnetic if placed in a magnetic field.
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  • What is magnetic force?

    Q: What is magnetic force?

    A: The technical definition of magnetic force is the mechanical force exerted from a magnetic field to a magnetic pole that is placed within that particular magnetic field. Magnetic force involves the simultaneous attraction and repulsion that occurs between particles that are electrically charged and are within the magnetic field itself.
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  • Where does electromagnetic radiation come from?

    Q: Where does electromagnetic radiation come from?

    A: Electromagnetic radiation is energy that comes from a wide variety of sources. It comes in a broad spectrum of wavelengths, frequencies and energies. Scientists break the electromagnetic spectrum into several different categories, including electrical energy, radio waves, microwave energy, infrared light, the visible spectra, ultraviolet rays, X-rays and gamma radiation.
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  • Why do similar poles repel each other?

    Q: Why do similar poles repel each other?

    A: Similar poles repel each other because of magnetic lines of force. A magnetic line of force originates from the north pole of a magnet and ends at its south pole. When the north and south pole ends of a magnetic object are put into close proximity, they form an attraction because the magnetic lines continue together in the same direction. Like poles repel because the lines of force are head-to-head.
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  • How do magnets help us in our everyday lives?

    Q: How do magnets help us in our everyday lives?

    A: Magnets are used in a variety of everyday items, including computers, televisions, credit cards and microwave tubes. The seal around most refrigerators and freezers is magnetic, and even some cabinets feature magnetic fixtures to keep them from opening. Howmagnetswork.com adds that a variety of solenoids in home electronics utilize magnets.
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  • What is an electromagnetic spectrum?

    Q: What is an electromagnetic spectrum?

    A: The electromagnetic spectrum gives the range of all the different kinds of electromagnetic radiation. Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but it covers only a small portion of the spectrum.
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  • Where do you find magnets in a house?

    Q: Where do you find magnets in a house?

    A: In addition to the simple magnets on the refrigerator that hold up photos, coupons or shopping lists, magnets (often electromagnets) are also found in virtually any electric device or appliance with a motor, transformer, relay or solenoid.
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  • Why do magnets attract metal?

    Q: Why do magnets attract metal?

    A: Magnets attract any metals that are made of iron or metals with iron in them. Magnets attract ferrous objects, such as iron, nickel, steel and cobalt.
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  • How do you make an electromagnet?

    Q: How do you make an electromagnet?

    A: An electromagnet can be constructed by wrapping an iron or steel bar with a current-carrying wire. When used as the core of an electromagnet, the ferromagnetic properties of iron or steel allow the magnetic domains to align. Wrapping a nail or other steel item with insulated wire, which is then hooked up to an electrical current, will magnetize the core. When powered, electromagnets function just like permanent magnets.
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  • Why is iron magnetic and wood not?

    Q: Why is iron magnetic and wood not?

    A: Each atom of iron has an unpaired electron whose spin can be lined up to that of the unpaired electron from a neighboring iron atom. The spinning of the charged electron creates a magnetic moment, which in turn can align with an external magnet, thus making iron magnetic. Atoms of wood do not have unpaired electron spins that can line up with a magnet, and so it is non-magnetic.
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  • Why is the Earth like a magnet?

    Q: Why is the Earth like a magnet?

    A: Earth is like a giant magnet in several ways. Not only does it have a magnetic north and south pole that act similarly to the poles on bar magnets, but the planet is surrounded by a strong magnetic field, which is electrically charged and able to interact with magnetized matter.
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  • What is a U-shaped magnet?

    Q: What is a U-shaped magnet?

    A: A U-shaped magnet derives its name from its shape and has both a north and a south pole located in the same plane at the open end of the magnet. This type of magnet is also called a horseshoe magnet.
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  • How do magnets work?

    Q: How do magnets work?

    A: A magnet is an object or material that can produce a magnetic field of its own. That magnetic field is responsible for the property of magnets to attract or repel other magnets, and pull objects that are ferromagnetic, like iron. Electrons are the reason behind the production of magnetic fields and magnetism. In permanent magnets, spinning of electrons creates the magnetism.
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  • What is magnetic levitation?

    Q: What is magnetic levitation?

    A: Magnetic levitation is a method of supporting an object with the repulsive force of magnets and the stability of servomechanisms. The object is thus suspended in the air, counteracting the effects of gravity.
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  • Why does the Earth have a magnetic field?

    Q: Why does the Earth have a magnetic field?

    A: The Earth's molten core rotates at a high speed, which generates the planet's magnetic field. While this field changes in intensity and location over time, it provides valuable protection against solar winds.
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  • How do you magnetize metal?

    Q: How do you magnetize metal?

    A: Metals and materials that contain metal can be magnetized either temporarily or permanently. Creating a temporarily magnetized metal can be achieved by bringing that metal in close contact with an already magnetized metal or by charging it with an electrical current. Permanent magnetization can occur by rubbing the metal with the poles of already magnetized materials or by hitting a metal while it is in a magnetic field.
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  • How do magnetic compasses work?

    Q: How do magnetic compasses work?

    A: A compass works by aligning its magnetic needle with the Earth's magnetic field, which is created by the iron core deep inside the planet. A compass is exactly accurate since the Earth's magnetic north differs slightly from Earth's true north.
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