magnets how do they work gif

Magnets are objects that have an invisible force field that can attract or repel other magnets and certain types of metal. This invisible force is known as magnetism and it is created by the motion of electric charges. Magnets come in two basic types: permanent magnets and electromagnets. Permanent magnets are made from materials like iron, nickel, cobalt, and their alloys. Electromagnets are created by running electricity through a coil of wire wrapped around a core of iron or another magnetic material. The strength of the magnetism generated depends on the number of turns in the coil and the amount of electricity flowing through it.Magnetism is a physical phenomenon produced by the motion of electric charge, arising from the spin and orbital angular momentum of electrons and protons. It is a property of materials that respond to an applied magnetic field by producing their own magnetic field. This field can attract or repel other objects with a magnetic field. Common examples of materials that exhibit magnetism include iron, nickel, cobalt and some rare earth metals.

How Magnets Work

Magnets have been used for centuries to attract and repel objects. But how do magnets work? Magnets are objects that produce a magnetic field, which is an invisible force that can act at a distance. This magnetic field is created when the electrons in the magnet’s atoms spin in a certain direction. When two magnets are placed near each other, their magnetic fields interact and cause either attraction or repulsion.

The attraction or repulsion of magnets is determined by their poles, which are the areas of greatest magnetism. Opposite poles attract each other, while like poles repel each other. A simple way to remember this is using the phrase “opposites attract”.

The strength of a magnet’s magnetic field is measured in gauss units, and is determined by the material it is made from and its shape. Magnets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from tiny bar magnets to large horseshoe magnets. The strongest permanent magnets can measure up to as much as 10,000 gauss units, while weaker ones may measure only 1-2 gauss units.

Magnets have many uses in our everyday lives. They are used to generate electricity, store data on computers, power electric motors, and even used to separate metals from ore for mining purposes. Magnets can also be used for medical purposes such as MRI scans and X-rays.

By understanding how magnets work and what they are capable of doing, we can use them for numerous applications that benefit us in many ways.

Permanent Magnets

Permanent magnets are the most common type of magnets. They are made of materials like iron, nickel, or cobalt and are capable of maintaining their magnetic properties over a long period of time. These magnets are often used in everyday items such as refrigerators, speakers, and door locks. Permanent magnets can be further divided into two categories: Alnico magnets and Rare Earth magnets. Alnico magnets are made from an alloy of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt, while Rare Earth magnets are made from rare earth elements such as neodymium and samarium.


Electromagnets are created by running an electric current through a coil of wire. This creates a magnetic field that can be used to attract or repel other magnetic objects. Electromagnets can be found in items like doorbells, telephones, and electric motors. The strength of the magnetic field created by an electromagnet is determined by the amount of current passing through the coil. When the current is turned off, the magnetism disappears.

Temporary Magnets

Temporary magnets are also known as soft or non-permanent magnets. They lose their magnetism over time when exposed to heat or other external factors such as an alternating magnetic field or strong electrical currents. These types of magnets can be found in items like children’s toys and refrigerator door seals. Temporary magnets can also be created using electricity; however, they will quickly lose their magnetism when the power is removed.

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Properties of Magnets

Magnets have several properties that make them useful for a variety of applications. These properties include magnetism, attraction, repulsion, and polarization. Magnetism is the ability of a magnet to attract or repel other magnets or objects that have magnetic properties. Attraction occurs when two magnets are brought close together and they are attracted to one another. Repulsion occurs when two magnets are brought close together and they repel one another. Polarization occurs when the magnetic field lines of a magnet are aligned in a particular direction. This alignment can cause the magnet to attract or repel different objects depending on its orientation.

The strength of a magnet’s magnetic field is determined by its size, shape, and composition. Magnets come in various shapes including rectangular bars, cylindrical rods, and horseshoe shapes. The larger the size of the magnet, the stronger its magnetic field will be. The composition of the magnet will also affect its strength; magnets made with higher quality materials such as neodymium iron boron (NIB) will be stronger than those made with lower quality materials such as iron oxide (Fe2O3).

The temperature at which a magnet can operate without losing its magnetic properties is known as its Curie temperature. Most permanent magnets can operate up to temperatures between 200-400 degrees Celsius without losing their magnetic field strength or their ability to attract or repel other objects. However, some types of magnets may lose their properties at lower temperatures depending on their composition and size.

Magnets also have directional properties which allow them to be used for navigation and positioning applications. By orienting two magnets in opposite directions, they can be used to determine directionality such as north or south in relation to each other. Magnets can also be used for positioning applications such as finding points on a map or determining distances between two points using triangulation measurements with two magnets placed at different points along the map grid.

Magnets are incredibly useful tools for many applications due to their unique properties such as magnetism, attraction, repulsion, polarization and directional capabilities among others. They come in various shapes and sizes which can affect their strength and temperature tolerance making them suitable for different applications requiring varying levels of performance from these properties

Magnetic Materials

Magnetic materials are substances that have the ability to produce a magnetic field. They can be both naturally occurring as well as man-made. Permanent magnets, electromagnets and ferromagnetic materials are the most common types of magnetic materials. Permanent magnets are composed of ferromagnetic elements such as iron, nickel and cobalt, while electromagnets are temporary magnets that are formed by running an electric current through a coil of wire. Ferromagnetic materials can be attracted to a magnet’s field and can also retain an induced magnetization when the external field is removed.

The most common uses of magnetic materials include applications in motors, generators and audio equipment. Motors use permanent magnets or electromagnets to move components such as gears, pumps and fans. Generators use permanent magnets or electromagnets to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Audio equipment uses permanent magnets in speakers and headphones to generate sound waves from an audio signal.

The properties of magnetic materials depend on their composition and structure. The strength of a magnet’s magnetism is determined by its coercivity, which is the measure of how difficult it is to demagnetize the material. The remanence or residual magnetism left in a material after being exposed to an external magnetic field is also important for many applications. Other properties such as permeability, saturation flux density, hysteresis and retentivity all affect how well a material works with its intended application.

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Magnetic materials have a wide range of applications in both industrial and consumer products. They are used for data storage devices such as hard drives, for sensors such as those used in security systems, for medical imaging techniques such as MRI scans, and for power generation systems like wind turbines. Magnetic materials are also used in consumer products such as toys, refrigerator door seals and credit cards.


Magnetism and electricity are two of the most important forces in the universe. They are both fundamental forces that govern the way things interact with one another. In this article, we will discuss how magnetism and electricity work together to create a powerful force. We will also explore the history of electricity and magnetism, how they interact, and their applications in our everyday lives.

History of Magnetism & Electricity

The history of magnetism and electricity dates back to ancient times. The first recorded instance of electricity was discovered by Thales of Miletus in 600 BC. He noticed that when rubbing certain materials together, an electrical spark could be generated. This discovery paved the way for further study into the properties of electricity.

Around 1600 AD, William Gilbert studied magnetism in detail and identified it as a separate force from electricity. He also discovered that certain rocks had magnetic properties and named them “magnets” after the Greek word for strength – “magnetis”. His research was instrumental in furthering our understanding of magnetism.

Interactions Between Magnetism & Electricity

The interactions between magnetism and electricity are complex but can be simplified by understanding how they work together to create a powerful force. When electric current passes through a wire, it creates a magnetic field around it which can then interact with other magnetic fields to create an attractive or repulsive force known as electromagnetism.

This is what happens when you put two magnets close together – they either attract or repel each other depending on their orientation. This same principle applies when electric current passes through a wire; an electromagnetic field is created which can then interact with other fields to create an attractive or repulsive force.


The interactions between magnetism and electricity have many practical applications in our everyday lives. For example, electric motors use electric current to generate a magnetic field which can be used to move objects such as fans or cars. In addition, transformers use electromagnetic induction to convert electrical energy from one voltage level to another enabling us to use different types of electrical equipment such as computers or phones.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another common application that uses magnets and electricity together to take detailed images inside our bodies without using radiation or other harmful methods. Finally, magnets are used extensively in generators which convert mechanical energy into electrical energy allowing us to power our homes and businesses.

In conclusion, magnetism and electricity are two powerful forces that have shaped the world around us today. Their interactions allow us to use them for many practical applications such as motors, transformers, MRI scans, and generators giving us access to power sources we otherwise would not have access too.


An electromagnet is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by the flow of electric current. The magnetic field disappears when the current stops flowing. Electromagnets can be very useful as they can be switched on and off as and when required. They are used in a wide range of applications such as door locks, motors, relays, loudspeakers and electric bells.

An electromagnet consists of a core made from a material such as iron surrounded by a coil of wire through which an electric current is passed. When the current flows, it produces a magnetic field around the core. The strength of the magnetic field depends on the number of turns in the coil and the amount of current flowing through it. The more turns there are in the coil and the greater the current, then stronger will be the magnetic field produced.

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The poles of an electromagnet can also be reversed by reversing the direction of flow of current through its coil. This makes them very useful for applications such as doorbells where it is necessary to switch between two different settings, such as ringing or silent.

Electromagnets are also used in motors where they can be used to rotate an armature which in turn can drive other mechanisms. They have also been used to control valves and other switches in industrial processes where precise control is required.

Electromagnets have many advantages over permanent magnets such as being able to generate much stronger fields, having more control over their strength and being able to switch them on and off at will. However they require an external power source to maintain their magnetic field and this can make them less practical for some applications.

Medical Uses of Magnets

The medical world has discovered many uses for magnets in recent years. Magnetic therapy is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative form of healing. Magnets can be used to reduce inflammation and pain, improve circulation, increase blood flow and oxygen levels, improve digestion, and help with sleep disorders. Additionally, magnets can be used to stimulate healing from injuries or illnesses, reduce scarring and swelling, and even treat certain types of cancer. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic tool that uses strong magnets to produce images of organs and structures within the body. This technology has revolutionized medical diagnostics and treatment planning.

Industrial Uses of Magnets

Magnets are often used in industrial applications such as separating magnetic materials from non-magnetic materials or lifting heavy objects. Magnets are also widely used in motors, generators, transformers, relays, switches, sensors and detectors. In the automotive industry magnets are used for ignition systems and fuel injection systems as well as for navigation systems in ships. In the aerospace industry magnets are used for guidance systems on satellites and spacecrafts.

Other Uses of Magnets

Magnets have many other everyday uses such as holding pictures or notes on refrigerators or cabinets; door locks; audio speakers; compasses for navigation; hard drives; credit cards; toys and games; data storage devices; wind turbines; electronic equipment such as televisions and computers; magnetic levitation (maglev) vehicles; microwave ovens; magnetic particle inspection (MPI); magnetic toys such as ‘Magic Blocks’; consumer electronics such as phones and tablets.


Magnets are truly amazing and understanding how they work can be fascinating. Magnets are composed of atoms that have an overall magnetic field that aligns in the same direction. When two magnets come into contact, their magnetic fields interact to create an attraction or repulsion depending on the orientation of the magnet. Magnets can be used in a wide variety of applications from holding notes on a refrigerator to powering complicated machines like electric motors. The gif above provides an entertaining look at how magnets work and how they interact with one another.

No matter the application, understanding magnets and their properties is key to getting the most out of them. Magnets are powerful tools that have been used for centuries and will continue to be used in innovative ways as technology advances. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to learn about magnets or need a more in-depth explanation, this gif is sure to help you understand how they work!

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