A compass uses a magnet that points north according to the Earth's natural magnetic field. In many compasses, the indicator is a magnetic needle mounted on a spindle that allows it to swing freely, while in others there may be multiple magnets and a liquid base to dampen oscillations.Know More
Earth has two magnetic poles, one near the northernmost point on the globe and one near the southernmost point. The pull of these poles is strong enough to influence magnets everywhere on the planet. The magnet inside a compass is mounted so it may swing freely, and it naturally falls in line with the Earth's magnetic field, indicating north.
Technically, the northern magnetic pole of the Earth is the south pole of the Earth's magnetic field because it attracts the "north" end of magnets. Opposite poles of magnets attract, and the north pole of a magnet is attracted to the north magnetic pole, which is the south pole of the magnetic field.
The magnetic poles do not totally correspond with the northernmost and southernmost points on the globe, and they can wander over time, slightly changing the official direction of magnetic north. In addition, the magnetic field of the Earth has weakened and grown stronger many times in history, and on occasion, the poles have even swapped places.Learn more about Geology
Gyroscopic compasses are used aboard transportation such as ships and airplanes. Spinning gyroscopes copy the behavior of a magnetic compass by using a magnetic compass as a reference. A motor keeps the gyroscope spinning, so it continues to point true north despite movement of the frame. A gyroscope adjusts itself quickly even in turbulence and rough seas.Full Answer >
A magnet is an object or material that can produce a magnetic field of its own. That magnetic field is responsible for the property of magnets to attract or repel other magnets, and pull objects that are ferromagnetic, like iron. Electrons are the reason behind the production of magnetic fields and magnetism. In permanent magnets, spinning of electrons creates the magnetism.Full Answer >
A bicycle dynamo works by converting the mechanical motion of the rotating wheel into electrical motion with the use of a magnet. The dynamo contains a permanent magnet wound with coils of insulated wire. When the magnet rotates, it creates a changing magnetic field, which generates electricity in the wire.Full Answer >
A compass works by utilizing the Earth's magnetism in order to find directions. Its invention enabled people to perform navigation over long distances, opening up the sea for exploration. The earliest compasses have been traced to the Chinese Song dynasty in the form of magnetized metal pieces floating in bowls of water.Full Answer >