Q:

What happens when you cut a bar magnet in half?

A:

When you cut a bar magnet in half carefully, it will create two smaller magnets, each with their own north and south poles. The dual polarity of magnets is part of their fundamental nature. It's analogous to breaking apart two Legos; each will still have a top and a bottom.

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Full Answer

Magnetized objects contain grains of magnetized material throughout their structure. The way these grains are aligned creates a magnetic field with two poles (north and south), regardless of their size or orientation. If you were to connect two bar magnets together end to end by their attracting sides, you would essentially have one magnet with one magnetic field.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can I determine the positive and negative sides of a magnet?

    A:

    The north and south poles, often called the negative and positive sides, of a magnet are determined by using the directional properties of magnets. The north pole of the magnet is attracted to Earth's geographical north pole, and the south pole is attracted to Earth's geographical south pole.

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  • Q:

    How do I demagnetize something?

    A:

    A magnet can be demagnetized with heat, hammering or an electric current. A metal behaves as a magnet when all its units or domains are aligned in one direction. When this alignment is destroyed and made random, the magnetism is also destroyed.

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  • Q:

    How do you magnetize something?

    A:

    Using an existing magnet, you can magnetize everyday household items that contain iron, cobalt or nickel, which are metals that exhibit the property of ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism is a subatomic property of some metals created by the structure of the electron clouds around the atoms. When the electrons of the metals align in a particular way, the metal produces a magnetic field.

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  • Q:

    Does a magnet stick to stainless steel?

    A:

    Depending on the composition of the stainless steel, a magnet may or may not stick to it. Stainless steels are alloyed steels containing iron, carbon and other components. The iron is strongly magnetic, but the other components interfere with the iron atoms' ability to line up in the same direction, which is what gives it strong magnetic properties.

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