Fun Facts About Where Magnets Come From
Magnets may be both natural and artificial. Natural magnets consist of the iron mineral magnetite, which is abundant in the Earth. Artificial magnets are created in a laboratory by treating magnetic metallic alloys to align the charged particles.
The poles of all magnets are north and south. Magnetic poles have the ability to attract or repel each other. Poles that are unlike each other attract each other. However, magnetic poles that are the same repel each other.
In other words, the north pole of one magnet will attract with the south pole of the other magnet. On the other hand, the two north poles will repel each other.
When you rub pieces of iron against a magnet, the particles’ north-seeking poles align in the same way. A magnetic inductance is created by force and exerted by the aligned atoms. The iron filings turn into a magnet.
An electric motor current can magnetize some materials. Magnetic strength is created when electricity and magnetism pass through a coil of wire. When the electric current stops, the field strength around the coil vanishes.
The magnets we find today are artificial. The term “ferromagnetic materials” refers to a class of materials. Iron, cobalt, nickel, and several rare-earth magnetic element alloys are included in this category (mainly neodymium and samarium).
Electrons in these metals line up or polarize by subjecting ferromagnetic materials to a magnetic field line created by electric energy. It makes the substance magnetic. It may render a magnetic force by using a magnetizing device that sends direct current through the non-magnetized section.
The refrigerator’s magnets are long bar magnets. These magnets provide a secure seal on refrigerator and freezer doors. These also power stereo sound systems, headphones, and TVs. Magnets store data in computers and are critical in scanning MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging). That doctors can see the insides of patients’ bodies with powerful magnets.
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Permanent magnets generate their magnetic forces due to their internal structure. Similarly, atoms and crystals contain both electrons and the atom’s nucleus. The nucleus and protons behave as miniature magnets, spinning pieces of electrical charges, including magnetic fields. Additionally, the electrons’ orbits form a magnetic field as they move around the nucleus.
All the electrons of permanent magnets spin, and orbits align in materials known as ferromagnets, leading the substances to become magnetic. The SI unit of magnetism is Gausses. Therefore, a permanent magnet’s powerful magnetic field is around 8,000 gausses. The strongest magnets are 450,000 gausses, over 50 times stronger than that.
Neodymium Iron Boron Magnets
A neodymium magnet (often referred to as a NdFeB, NIB, or Neo magnet) is the most common form of rare-earth magnet. It is a permanent magnet composed of neodymium, iron, and boron in the tetragonal crystalline structure Nd2Fe14B.
Neodymium magnets are the hardest type of permanent magnet currently accessible. They were developed independently in 1984 by General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals. They classify into two types based on their production processes:
- Sintered NdFeB magnets
- Bonded NdFeB magnets
Neodymium magnets are strong magnets. They have largely displaced older types of magnets in many modern devices. They require powerful permanent magnets, including electric motors, cordless tools, hard disc drives, and magnetic fasteners.
Samarium Cobalt Magnets
Samarium Cobalt (SmCo) magnets are exceptionally powerful permanent magnets. They have outstanding thermal stability and resistance to corrosion and demagnetization. Similarly, SmCo magnets are rare-earth magnets that suit different applications. It requires high or extremely low temperatures, magnetic stability, limited area, and high magnetic strength.
Alnico magnets are permanent magnets composed largely of aluminum, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron, and titanium. Such magnets are accessible in 2 configurations: isotropic and anisotropic.
They generate magnetic fields up to 1500 gauss (0.15 tesla) at their poles or almost 3000 times the intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field. Certain brands of alnico are isotropic and may magnetize efficiently in either direction.
A ferrite magnet is a ceramic substance formed by combining and heating a high concentration of iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3, rust). They also have trace amounts of other metallic elements, such as strontium, barium, manganese, nickel, and zinc. They are also known as ceramic magnets.
Ferrimagnetic means that they magnetically attract to or are magnetized by a magnet. Unlike other ferromagnetic materials, most ferrites are not electrically conductive. It makes them ideal for suppressing eddy currents in applications such as magnetic cores for transformers. Ferrites are divided into two categories according to their resistance to demagnetization (magnetic coercivity).
Ten Awesome Magnet Facts
Magnets play a significant and beneficial role in our daily lives. Magnets are everywhere, from our automobiles to our computers to the vast ground we tread on every day. The following are some fascinating facts about magnets that will spark your curiosity.
- Different Kinds of Magnets Are Available: Ferromagnets that include iron and nickel consist of unpaired electrons with aligned spins. They also make excellent permanent magnets. Only a portion of the electron aligns in another form of magnet called a ferrimagnet. However, most chemical elements are paramagnetic. It means they become magnetized only when they contact another magnetic field. Additionally, paramagnets include unpaired electrons. If you want to levitate items, you need to use diamagnetic materials. When placed in a magnetic field, these magnet materials become magnetic. But they create magnetic fields in the opposite poles as the field in which they exist. Maglev trains operate according to this concept.
- Magnetism: Magnets attract one other by exchanging photons, the light-like particles. Unlike photons emitted by a desk lamp or reflected off the surrounding environment, these virtual photons are invisible to the human eye (or any particle detector). Photons are the force carriers for magnets and electricity phenomena like static electricity. We can feel the effects caused by these electromagnetic fields during the process.
- Losing Magnetic Properties: A method of destroying a magnet’s magnetic characteristics is to heat it. Harming a magnet causes it to lose its magnetic qualities. It is because the molecules lose their magnetism north-south alignment and become randomly organized.
- The Most Powerful Magnets: Los Alamos National Laboratory and Florida State University have the largest magnets (FSU). The magnets in the two sister labs are 100 and 45 Teslas. Junkyard magnets, which lift cars, are roughly 2 Teslas. The Los Alamos produced magnets that live for a few seconds, whereas the FSU magnet’s fields last if the electricity stays turned on. Each magnet is designed to do specific tests, according to Los Alamos scientist Ross McDonald. A diamagnetic substance, such as an aluminum canister, has an intriguing impact on the FSU magnet. Because diamagnetism creates fields opposing magnetism, everything formed of such materials is stuck.
- Working Of Quantum Mechanics: A fundamental particle’s quantum mechanical property is useful in fields of science. Moreover, the experiment is named after scientists Otto Stern and Walter Gerlach. They experimented in 1922 to test theories of quantum mechanics. Asymmetrical magnets create the fields by stacking two magnets on top of each other. It will slightly modify the silver atoms’ course. Because the atoms’ angular moments are random, the path should be different for each silver bit. The target should have had a uniform hit dispersion from end to end. Stern and Gerlach had recently shown that particle spins quantize they can only move up or down.
- Magnets Don’t Contain Iron or Metal: Most of our magnets are iron (like fridge magnets). But that’s not the case. Magnets consist of unpaired electron materials—many metals and alloys, like neodymium. Similarly, they are employees in disc drives. Ferromagnetic materials aren’t always metals. Among them are spinel’s, which employ in refrigerator magnets.
- Magnetic Medicine: We all know that our red blood contains iron. Its atoms are too far apart and dispersed for magnets to effect. If you cut your finger and shed blood nearby magnetic, neither your blood nor the magnet will attract. Magnetic resonance equipment employs magnets strongly than those used to lift cars in junkyards. MRI magnets are usually superconducting and cooled with helium. Reson imaging uses powerful magnets to create a magnetic field that causes protons in the body to align. When the doctors apply a radiofrequency current to the patient, the protons become excited and spin out of equilibrium with the external magnetic field.
- They Are Long Known But Still Not Understood: The ancient Greeks and Chinese observed that certain materials, known as lodestones, were unusual. Lodestones were magnetite, a type of iron-nickel oxide formed when lava slowly cools. The lodestones drew other iron-like metals and, even better, magnetized regular iron. When little bits of magnetized metal were strung on a rope or floated in the water, they lined up and became the first magnetic compass.
- Animals Sport Magnets: Magnetite exists in the bodies of several animals and microbes. A chiton, a mollusk species, even possesses magnetite in its “teeth,” covering its tongue. According to research on homing pigeons, they have a magnetic sense that assists them in traveling. However, the extent to which that magnetic sense (called magnetoception) plays a role remains unknown. Magnetite in the animals’ beaks appears to be the key. The magnetite is rough and allows the animal to remove algae, but it may also give a homing sense. It will enable chitons to return to certain areas where they like to breed and feed.
- Direction Of Needle: The points of compass needles always point to the north and south poles of the Earth. If you float a bar magnet in a tub of water, it will gently spin in the water until the magnet’s North Pole points towards the Earth’s north magnetic pole. Temporary magnetic energy will achieve the same result.
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Magnets and magnetism involve raw materials that can be utilized in a number of different applications such as the ability to equip a GPS tracker under a car without a driver knowing!
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.