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.
As explained by Universe Today, electromagnets are used in a variety of everyday applications, including generators, motors and relay switches. Additionally, electromagnets are often used in industrial applications. For example, if a recycling plant wants to sort out the iron or nickel from a pile of scrap metal, an electromagnet reacts with these metals, while having no effect on less valuable metals. Electromagnets are also used to operate some levitating trains. By keeping the train floating, friction is greatly reduced, allowing the train to achieve incredible speeds.
According to ThomasNet, scientists classify magnets in one of four categories. Category one magnets utilize a magnet’s attractive or repulsive force, as occurs in a refrigerator magnet. Magnets used for category two applications, such as in a car engine, rely on the magnet’s ability to convert electricity into movement. Category three applications emphasize the reverse application, converting movement into electrical energy, as is performed in generators. Category four magnets affect ion beams. These are used in cathode-ray vacuum tubes to aim beams of light.