Q:

What elements are magnetic?

A:

Quick Answer

Iron, nickel, cobalt and gadolinium are naturally ferromagnetic elements. Common usage of the term "magnetic" refers to this form of magnetism. Other elements are capable of forming magnetic compounds, but are not magnetic in their pure states.

Know More

Full Answer

Powerful rare earth magnets are referred to by the names of their component rare earth elements, but these elements are not ferromagnetic on their own. Neodymium magnets are the best-known type of rare earth magnets and composed of an alloy of neodymium, iron and boron. Samarium magnets consist of an alloy of samarium and cobalt. These are useful at high temperatures where neodymium magnets would lose their ferromagnetism.

Other elements that are naturally nonmagnetic can undergo laboratory-induced ferromagnetism. When lithium gas is supercooled to near absolute zero, it exhibits ferromagnetism. This is the only recorded instance of a magnetic gas. While they are solids, not gases, compounds formed from actinide series elements exhibit similar magnetic properties when cooled.

The most powerful naturally occurring magnet is a compound, not a pure element: magnetite, or iron oxide. Naturally magnetized pieces of magnetite are called lodestones and have been used for their magnetic properties since ancient times. Large deposits of magnetite are magnetic enough to interfere with compasses.

Learn more about Magnetism

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can metals be non-magnetic?

    A:

    Magnetism occurs when iron is present in metals, so metals can be non-magnetic when they don't contain iron. Although some metals are not magnetic, they still hold the properties of metal and are considered as such.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do magnets attract and repel?

    A:

    Magnets attract when two opposing poles are brought together and repel when they have similar poles. Magnets come with a north pole and south pole. If one end of a magnet is the north pole and the end of the other magnet is the south pole, both pieces will attract; magnets will repel if two north poles or south poles are brought together.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Will a magnet stick to titanium?

    A:

    A magnet will not stick to titanium. Using a magnet is a common method of determining if a metal that's being sold as titanium is actually titanium.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What makes a magnet stronger?

    A:

    You can strengthen magnets by placing them in water, stacking them on top of each other or recharging them. The method of making a magnet stronger depends on the type of magnet you have, explains HowStuffWorks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore