Magnetism

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • What are some examples of magnets?

    Q: What are some examples of magnets?

    A: One example of a magnet is a refrigerator magnet. These are also called permanent magnets because they always retain a certain degree of their magnetism. There some other general categories for magnets, such as temporary magnets and electromagnets.
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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 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 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 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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  • What is the best way to destroy magnetic tapes?

    Q: What is the best way to destroy magnetic tapes?

    A: Magnetic tapes and other magnetic data storage media can be effectively destroyed either by destroying the data on the tapes or by destroying the tapes themselves. Without proper destruction, data is still recoverable by people not authorized to access it.
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  • How are electromagnetic waves formed?

    Q: How are electromagnetic waves formed?

    A: Electromagnetic waves form from the vibrations of electric and magnetic fields. Unlike mechanical waves, electromagnetic waves do not need a medium to propagate, allowing them to travel through air, solids and even outer space.
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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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  • What can electromagnets be used for?

    Q: What can electromagnets be used for?

    A: Electromagnets are temporary magnets which have a magnetic field only when current passes through them. Some everyday applications of electromagnets include generators, motors, microphones, loudspeakers and cranes. Electromagnets are also used in scientific equipment such as particle accelerators, mass spectrometers and NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectrometers.
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  • How does magnetism affect everyday life?

    Q: How does magnetism affect everyday life?

    A: 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.
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  • What makes a magnet stronger?

    Q: What makes a magnet stronger?

    A: You can strengthen magnets by placing them in water, stacking them on top of each other or recharging them. The method of making a magnet stronger depends on the type of magnet you have, explains HowStuffWorks.
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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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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