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.

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Magnets refer to any object that exhibits a magnetic field. There are three major groups of magnets: permanent magnets, temporary magnets and electromagnet.

  • Permanent magnets - permanent magnets refer to objects that retain their magnetism once magnetized. Common examples include the magnets used on refrigerator doors. Permanent magnets are typically made of ferromagnetic materials, such as cobalt, nickel, iron and some rare earth metals
  • Temporary magnets - temporary magnets become magnetized when they come within range of a magnet, but the magnetism only lasts for a short while. Soft iron item, such as needles and paper clips, are good examples
  • Electromagnets - electromagnets are magnets made by wire loops around a core material. When electricity is passed through the wire, it induces a magnetic field. The strength of the magnet becomes even stronger if the core material is ferromagnetic. Electromagnets are common in electronic devices such as radios,televisions and computers. They are also used in industrial sites for heavy duty lifting with cranes
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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are magnets made?

    A:

    A magnet is made of any of a group of metals called ferromagnetic metals. Ferromagnetic metals contain many small magnetic fields called domains. In their natural state, the magnetic fields of these domains point in different directions. To create a magnet, the magnetic fields must align in the same direction.

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  • Q:

    When do two magnets repel each other?

    A:

    Magnets have a north and south pole, and bringing two like poles together repels magnets while unlike poles attract each other. The distance in which two magnets begin to repel or attract each other is determined by the strength of the magnetic field.

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  • Q:

    Who discovered magnets?

    A:

    Magnets have been known since antiquity and occur naturally through a mineral known as magnetite. Magnetite is an iron oxide and contains a high concentration of iron, which magnetizes when it forms. This mineral is also known as lodestone.

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  • Q:

    What are some examples of magnets?

    A:

    One example of a magnet is a refrigerator magnet. These are also called permanent magnets because they always retain a certain degree of their magnetism. There some other general categories for magnets, such as temporary magnets and electromagnets.

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