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What's Magnetism?

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Peter P.

Magnetism is a force of nature, which causes special kinds of objects to attract to each other. Magnetism is all around you. You can find it in the most common places like the magnet on your refrigerator. The force of magnetism flows from one pole to another. A pole is the point where the force is pointed. The force of magnetism causes material to point along the direction the magnetic force points. This means that the force has direction.

The force is represented by lines, which point from the positive pole to the negative pole of the magnet. It forces small pieces of iron to live up in the direction the magnet force points. The lines represent what is called the magnetic field of the magnet. The magnetic field is strongest where the lines of force come together, and is weakest when the lines of force are far apart.

Did you know that the Earth is a giant magnet? Well, it is. The North and South poles are the two areas where its attraction is the largest. There are many things about magnets that are unknown.

A magnet is surrounded by a magnetic field. This field has both a North side, and a South side. This field is strongest where the lines of force came together and weakest when they are far apart.

Flux lines are the lines that determine how current flows throughout a magnet. They are circular lines, which run around the magnet. It is determined which direction a current is flowing by using a series of left-hand rules. Each magnet has its own flux shape, and rule.

There are two types of magnets on Earth: Permanent (Hard) magnets and temporary (Soft). A magnet is permanent when it is always magnetic, no matter where it is located. A temporary magnet acts like a magnet only when it is near another permanent magnet.

Magnetism and electricity are very closely related. When speaking of them together they are spoken of as an electromagnetic force. There are three main factors that must be thought of when realizing that magnetism and electricity are related. These things are a) moving electric charges produce magnetic fields, b) magnetic fields exert forces on moving electric charges, c) when you change magnetic fields in the presence of electric charges it causes a current to flow.

Magnetism is present throughout the world. It is used in electronics, medicine, generators, and in so many other things. Magnetism affects all aspects of our lives.


Works Cited


"Magnets and Magnetism." Comptonís Interactive Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Comptonís  New Media Inc, 1995.

 "Magnetism." http://www.nasa/magnetismÖaol/.21, March 1998. The Regents University of Michigan 1998.

 "Magnetism." Van Nostrandís Scientific Encyclopedia. Ed. Douglas M. Considine. 8th Ed. United States of America: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995. 1946-1948.