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9 Cool Facts About Magnets

Magnets aren’t all this mysterious. The basic principles have been around for more than two decades. Let’s explore some cool Facts About Magnets below!

As a component in disk drives, they are an integral part of almost every laptop and desktop computer, and they’ve found their way into tape players, and of course, in the devices that we use to store things on our fridges. Before the invention of flat televisions, screens and monitors contained some of the strongest magnets found in the typical home.

While the magnet’s physics are fairly well understood (except perhaps by a few hip-hop performers) and have been a part of the human experience for hundreds of years, magnets still amaze and delight. Here’s an in-depth look at some fascinating facts about magnets.

Facts About Magnets

#Fact 1. Magnets come in four types Ferromagnets — that include elements like nickel and iron, which consist of atoms that have unpaired electrons whose spins are aligned. They are excellent permanent magnets. In a different kind of magnet, known as ferrimagnets, only a few electrons spine aligned.

If you’re trying to raise objects, then diamagnetic materials are the right choice. They’re magnetized in a field. However, they create fields opposite to the field within which they’re located. Maglev trains operate according to this concept.

Also, read 25 Shocking Facts About Gravity

#Fact 2. The magnetism of light is why do magnets stay put? Magnets attract each other because they exchange photons, particles that comprise light. However, unlike the light rays that stream from a desk lamp or reflect off everything surrounding you, they are imaginary, meaning that you (or the particle detector) cannot “see” them. However, they do trade momentum, and that is why they adhere to things or repulsion.

If a child throws a dodgeball, they’re exchanging momentum with the ball. The thrower is feeling a slight pushback. While the person in the target’s vicinity feels the force of the ball and (maybe) is knocked down and is “repelled” by the thrower. When using photons, this process can occur in reverse, like one child took hold of the ball while the other one was grasping it, and it appears as if it was a striking force.

Photons are the energy carriers, not just for magnets but also for electrostatic phenomena such as static electricity. This is why electromagnetics is the term we use to describe the effects created by these phenomena, including light which can be described as an electromagnetic signal.

#Fact 3. The magnetism of the universe is relativistic. This is true — anytime you turn on an electric magnet and put it in the fridge, you’re demonstrating the relativity. Why? Based on the theories of special relativity, the distance that is measured along an axis of movement is smaller. The car that is moving at a rapid speed will appear squished even though the driver of the vehicle wouldn’t be aware of it. This person would perceive all the things around them as squished in the direction that the person was moving.

This is a problem for charged particles found in wires. Normally, positively charged electrons and the negatively charged protons in wires can cancel one another out. However, when current flows through a wire, electrons move. From the viewpoint of any charged particle that is stationary in the wire, it appears that the space between electrons becomes smaller. This means that it appears there are more protons than electrons within a space. Suddenly, there’s an overall negative charge.

Suppose you place anything positively charged (or wire) near the wire that has current flowing through it. In that case, you will feel the magnetic attraction if you place a negatively charged particle close to it, which will repel, which is why you conduct the current in opposing directions over the two wires. They will draw each other. If the current is moving in the opposite direction, it will repel.

Similar things happen when a charged particle moves through the magnetic field, such as near a (permanent) bar magnet. The particle is subjected to forces. According to relativity’s theory, it’s impossible to declare the particles are moving but that the magnetic field isn’t from the viewpoint that the particle magnetic field is moving.

Also, read Facts About Rockets

Maxwell’s equations that explain the electromagnetic wave and forces reveal that you can see different forces based on the frame of reference you pick. If you’re a stationery person, it appears to be the force of a magnet pulling or pushing the particle. For the moving particle, this is an electrostatic force. This was a crucial element in Einstein’s creation of special relativity. It explained the reason for the difference.

#Fact 4. The strongest magnets in the world The two largest magnets are located in Los Alamos National Laboratory, located in New Mexico, and Florida State University (FSU). The two laboratories share magnets that have a power of 90 and 45 teslas, respectively. For comparison, the magnetic junkyards — magnets that raise cars have a tesla of 2.

This Los Alamos magnet is designed to create fields that last for a few seconds, whereas the FSU magnet will keep its field until electricity is in. According to Ross McDonald, a staff scientist at Los Alamos, each magnet is built to conduct different types of experiments.

A unique effect can be observed when using the FSU magnet when diamagnetic materials like an aluminum canister. The diamagnetism causes fields to be indifferent orientations to the magnet, which means that any object made from such materials will remain in its place. “It’s like trying to move it through molasses,” McDonald stated.

It’s not recommended to play around with aluminum canisters close to Los Alamos’s magnet. For the same reason, Los Alamo’s magnet is not safe to be in the magnet’s space. “Every pulsed magnet will eventually destroy itself,” McDonald explained, citing the stress that magnetic forces are exerted on the coils. If the coils fail, they could fail. “We have something like 100 sticks of dynamite’s worth of energy in there, and we contain 99.9 percent of it,” said the official. However, that percentage is still quite low, and LANL removes the building whenever its magnetic field is activated.

Amazing facts about magnets for kids

#Fact 5. Magnets proved quantum mechanics could work in a way. The discovery of one of the primary quantum mechanical properties of elementary particles –spin- resulted from magnets. The experiment is referred to as the Stern-Gerlach one in honor of the physicist’s Otto Stern and Walter Gerlach.

They experimented in 1922 to explore ideas concerning the new theories of quantum mechanics. They employed two magnets and placed one on one another, with each magnet shaped to produce an asymmetrical and long magnetic field. Then, they fired uncharged particles -which are the silver atoms into the field to hit the desired target.

The asymmetrical field alters the trajectory of silver atoms slightly. As the atoms are likely to be in random orientations and their angular moments are random, the trajectory will differ for every silver atom. However, it wasn’t clear by the amount. The goal should have revealed the same pattern between hits, from one end to the next.

It was not the case. Instead, the scientists received two sets of hits like the beam split in two directions, with particles that we’re unable to move into any direction in between. Stern and Gerlach just proved that particle spins are quantified — they can be either up or down, but not anything other than that.

Also, read 10 Amazing Computer Science Facts

#Fact 6. Magnets don’t need iron or are even made of metal. Most magnets we utilize are made from iron (like fridge magnets). But it doesn’t have to be the case. Magnets can be constructed from any material that has unpaired electrons. This includes many metals and alloys, like Neodymium, that are utilized for disk drives. Ferrimagnetic substances, in actuality, are not usually metallic at all. One of them is spinels, which are utilized for the magnets that protect refrigerator doors.

#Fact 7. Magnetic medicine: There’s no evidence suggesting that magnets work to relieve pain. Why is that? While there’s iron present in blood samples, the latter comprises atoms that are distant and dispersed for magnets to affect them. If you tried to test this by pricking your fingers and spilling blood close to an iron object, you’d see that neither the magnet nor your blood will attract one another.

In reality, magnets are utilized for magnets are used in magnetic resonance imaging devices that use magnets that are stronger than those used in junkyards, which lift automobiles. Most of the time, MRI magnets have superconducting properties and are cooled by liquid Helium.

#Fact 8. The long-standing knowledge of the subject is not fully understood: The early Greeks and Chinese observed something was amiss in certain materials, also known as lodestones. Lodestones contained magnetite. An oxide of iron is formed when magma is cooled slowly. Lodestones attracted iron-like metals, and even more, they were able to magnetize iron. When tiny pieces of metal were magnetized and then hung on a string or floated in the water, they aligned themselves with the earth’s magnetic field- the first magnetic compasses.

#Fact 9. Animals have magnets: Certain bacteria and animals contain magnetite within their bodies. Mollusks of the type known as Chitons have magnetite inside their “teeth,” which covers their tongue. Magnetite is abrasive and allows the animal to scrape algae. It could also give the homing sensation, allowing Chitons to locate their way back to the places where they prefer to mat and eat. Studies on honing the pigeon suggest that they possess magnetic senses that help to navigate. Magnetite within the animal’s beaks is believed to be the most important factor. However, the exact part magnetism (called magnetoception) has is not clear.

Shreya is a young mind who is always in search of creativity, be it in work or living a life. She's a keen observer who loves to pen down her thoughts on anything and everything. With a factful mind, she's here sharing some with you!


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