Q:

What is a naturally magnetic rock?

A:

Quick Answer

Lodestone is a magnetic mineral that is found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is a type of magnetite, which are minerals that possess a strong attraction to magnets.

Know More

Full Answer

All magnetite minerals display magnetism, but lodestone is the only one possessing north-south polarity. This property was noticed as early as the 4th century B.C. by the Chinese, who used primitive compasses made with lodestone. Another well-known property of lodestone is its ability to attract iron, which was first noted by the ancient Greeks in 600 B.C. This phenomenon was unexplained until scientist Peter Wasilewski demonstrated that lodestone may develop strong magnetic fields after being struck by lightning.

Learn more about Geology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is terrigenous sediment?

    A:

    Terrigenous sediments are marine sediments typically formed by the weathering and erosion of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Rivers are a major factor in the transportation of these sediments.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is obsidian rock?

    A:

    Obsidian is a type of igneous rock created when felsic magma cools and hardens before it can form a crystalline structure. It is characterized by its smooth texture and extremely sharp edges.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between rock and stone?

    A:

    According to National Geographic, the main difference between rocks and stones, or gemstones, are their rarity and crystal formation. Most gemstones have a crystal formation, which makes them rare and valuable after they are cut. Rocks usually do not have a crystal formation, which means they are not considered to be of value. Unlike rocks, gemstones are classified on their rarity and value into two categories: semiprecious and precious.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a petrified rock?

    A:

    While there's no such thing as petrified rock, petrified wood is fossilized wood. According to YourGemologist, there is no wood actually left in petrified wood, only rock that takes the same form and shape of the wood.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore