Q:

Why do magnets repel each other?

A:

Quick Answer

All magnets have both a north and a south pole, which causes them to either repel or attract one another depending on how the two poles are lined up. If the north pole of one magnet meets the south pole of another, the two will be attracted, but if either both north or south poles meet, the magnets will repel one another.

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Full Answer

No matter what type of magnet, the opposite poles always attract while similar poles always repel. Each magnet sends out a magnetic field, which is positive on one pole and negative on the other. This magnetic field is the result of the movement of negatively charged electrons within the magnet. These fields are strongest directly at the pole, which is why the ends of magnets will so powerfully repel or attract each other.

Magnets are constructed from one of the magnetic metals, such as iron, nickel or cobalt. These materials will always be attracted to a magnet, or they can be magnetized to form a magnet themselves. Steel is another magnetic material, as it is usually constructed mostly of magnetic iron.

To test whether a material is magnetic, it is necessary to use another magnet to see whether or not the two will repel one another.

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Related Questions

  • 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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  • 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:

    What are the properties of magnets?

    A:

    Magnets have five properties. Their force of attraction is greater at the poles than in the middle. Similar poles repel. Opposite poles attract. The south pole of a bar magnet suspended by a thread moves toward the north pole. Magnets attract objects made of iron, cobalt and nickel.

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  • Q:

    What are magnets used for?

    A:

    Magnets are used in computer data storage, compasses, doorbells and alarm systems, microphones and speakers, motors, electrical generators and electrical transformers. They are also used to levitate objects, including trains that operate via magnetic propulsion. Naturally occurring magnetism protects the Earth from cosmic radiation.

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