Q:

What metals are attracted to magnets?

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Quick Answer

Metals that are attracted to magnets include iron, nickel and cobalt. The majority of metals are not attracted to magnets, including copper, silver, gold, magnesium, platinum and aluminum. However, the metals that are not attracted to magnets may magnetize slightly when placed in a magnetic field.

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What metals are attracted to magnets?
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Full Answer

Magnetic fields cannot be seen by the naked eye. Materials, such as wood, plastics and glass, are not attracted to magnets. Magnetism is capable of either pulling objects in or pushing them away. Magnets have a north and a south pole. When the same poles of two magnets are near, they push away from each other. When there are two different magnet poles in close proximity, they pull towards each other. It is necessary for magnetic objects to be securely within a magnetic field for responsiveness, explaining why an object sometimes needs to be moved a little closer in order for magnetism to affect an object noticeably.

Scientists claim that Earth's core consists of a combination of iron and nickel, with the planet having its own magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from harmful solar wind through deflection. Compasses that are magnetic utilize Earth's magnetic field to facilitate navigation in different directions.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you magnetize something?

    A:

    Using an existing magnet, you can magnetize everyday household items that contain iron, cobalt or nickel, which are metals that exhibit the property of ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism is a subatomic property of some metals created by the structure of the electron clouds around the atoms. When the electrons of the metals align in a particular way, the metal produces a magnetic field.

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  • Q:

    Is cobalt magnetic?

    A:

    Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal element. Commercially, it is combined with nickel and aluminum to produce an alloy called alnico, which is used to construct strong permanent magnets. Cobalt maintains its ferromagnetic properties up to 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit, which is greater than other materials, such as samarium cobalt.

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  • Q:

    Is iron magnetic?

    A:

    Iron is magnetic except when heated to the Curie point. The Curie point, which is sometimes called the Curie Temperature, is the temperature at which some magnetic materials undergo a major change in their structure.

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  • 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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