What metals are magnetic?
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Q:

What metals are magnetic?

A:

Quick Answer

Nickel, iron and cobalt are magnetic metals. Most other metals, including gold, copper, silver and magnesium, are generally not magnetic, although some of these metals might become slightly magnetic if placed in a magnetic field.

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Magnets are created by heating a suitable metal enough to exceed the material’s Curie temperature. This aligns the small magnetic fields produced by the material, enabling them to work together. Over time, these individual magnetic fields, called domains, fall out of alignment, causing a magnet to demagnetize. Scientists can also make electromagnets by passing electric currents through coils of wire surrounding a metal object, such as a nail. This principle is used in most engines and turbines and during the production of electricity. Not all magnets are man-made, and some are naturally occurring. For example, the mineral lodestone is magnetic. One of the first magnetic substances discovered, lodestone was used to create early compasses.

The Earth’s magnetic field is produced by the movements of the inner core. Scientists believe that the core is composed primarily of iron and nickel, which are both magnetic. This magnetic field is what causes the needle of a compass to point north. Additionally, the planet’s magnetic field deflects the charged particles that stream from the Sun.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What type of metals attract to magnets?

    A:

    The three primary metal elements that are attracted to magnets are iron, nickel and cobalt. These are also the metals used to create most magnets, although some more powerful magnets use rare-earth elements, such as gadolinium or neodymium.

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  • Q:

    What metals are attracted to magnets?

    A:

    Metals that are attracted to magnets include iron, nickel and cobalt. The majority of metals are not attracted to magnets, including copper, silver, gold, magnesium, platinum and aluminum. However, the metals that are not attracted to magnets may magnetize slightly when placed in a magnetic field.

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  • 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.

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  • Q:

    Why do magnets attract metal?

    A:

    Magnets attract any metals that are made of iron or metals with iron in them. Magnets attract ferrous objects, such as iron, nickel, steel and cobalt.

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