Magnets, magnets magnets!!!

Learn all about magnets and what they do!

What is a magnet?

A magnet is any material that produces a magnetic field. Magnetic fields are the regions around a magnetic material or a moving electrical charge within which the force of magnetism works. There are three different kinds of magnets. There's the temporary magnet which act like permanent magnets when they are within a strong magnetic field and lose magnetism when the magnetic field disappears. Then there's the permanent magnet which retains its magnetic properties in the absence of a field or current. The third and final magnet is the electromagnet, which has a soft metal core made into a magnet by the passage of an electric current through a coil surrounding it.

What are superconductors and who discovered magnets?

Superconductors are a material that can conduct electricity or transport electrons from one atom to another with no resistance. Legend has it that Magnes of Crete was the one who discovered magnets. He was a shepherd who was guiding his sheep and stopped on a rock. The nails of his boots and the end of his staff started to stick to the rock. He digged into the earth to find lodestones which contained magnetite. Magnets were named after the great Magnes himself since he supposedly discovered them. A more reasonable story is of Emanuel Swedenborg. He discovered a magnetic sphere around the magnets and stressed the differences between magnetized rocks and rocks that are not magnetic. Since that discovery, many other scientists have studied the magnificent world of magnets.

What are some facts about magnets?

Magnets consist of iron, nickel, and steel and they all have a north and south pole. The like poles repel and the unlike poles attract. The magnetic forces of a magnet act at a distance. Did you know that Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all have a magnetic field? That's awesome! Magnets are used for many things like constructing electrical motors and generators that convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy (vise versa), mag-lav trains, sort magnetic items from non-magnetic items, making speakers that convert electrical energy into sound energy, electrical bells, t.v. screens, phones, tape recorders, vending machines, cranes, keeping the fridge door closed, and of course a compass. Magnets make life easier and better by playing a role in all the objects that were just listed. If you didn't have magnets, what would your life be like?