Basics of Magnetism

Magnetism is defined as either a force of attraction or repulsion. Magnetism occurs due to the magnetic field which is caused by the moving charged particles. Magnetic objects such as a magnet also inherit the same.

A magnet is defined as an object which possesses a strong magnetic field and has two poles: the north pole and the south pole. Opposite poles of the magnets attract each other, while the like poles repel each other.

Magnetism involves many terms such as magnetic field, magnetic force, electromagnetism, and magnetic materials.

What is magnetism?

Magnetism is defined as a phenomenon which is related to the magnetic field and is a result of moving of charged electric charges.

What is a magnetic field?

A magnetic field is defined as the imaginary lines of flux which is coming out from either a moving or spinning electric charges. The spin of a proton and the moving electrons in an electric circuit are examples of the magnetic field. The flux always travels from the north pole to the south pole.

Facts about magnets

Following are the six facts about magnets and their behaviour:

  • There are two ends of a magnet which is known as poles and these poles are known as the north pole and the south pole.
  • The opposite poles attract while the same poles repel.
  • If a bar magnet is cut into two pieces, both the pieces will have new north and south poles.
  • The magnetic field is an invisible area of magnetism which is created around the magnets.
  • The north pole of a magnet is towards the earth’s north pole and the south pole is towards the earth’s south pole.
  • Magnetisation is a process of converting a non-magnetic material into magnetic material.

How to measure magnetism?

The strength of magnetism is dependent on how close one would get to the magnetic field. It is the strongest when it is near to the magnet and is weakest when the distance is more. Gauss and tesla are the two units that are used for measuring the strength of the magnetic field. Also, an interesting fact about the earth as a magnet is that the earth’s magnetic field is very weak when compared to the bar magnet. It is the earth’s gravitational force which is stronger than the earth’s magnetic field.

Electromagnets and their uses

Electromagnets are made from a coil of wire and are defined as a magnet which works when an electric current is passed through it. The magnetic effect of an electromagnetic magnetic material can be controlled by controlling the usage of electric current.

Electromagnets are used in hard drives, particle accelerators, electric motors and generators, transportation, and in amplifiers.

Electromagnetism also has a few disadvantages such as they heat up very fast, a lot of energy is consumed by the electromagnets, and the storage capacity of an electromagnet is dependent on the uninterrupted electric current.

Interested to learn more about other concepts of Physics such as what is a vector, stay tuned with BYJU’S or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

By Kate