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Stephen G Bosi does not work for, consult, very own shares in or receive resources from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has discover no pertinent affiliations beyond their scholastic appointment.

You are watching: Choose the best description of a magnet



If friend sprinkle iron filings (a fine powder of iron) roughly a magnet, you have the right to see photo of the magnetic field. From www.shutterstock.com

Magnets don’t always stick together.

If you hold two magnets the wrong way around, they press apart - they repel! In other words, if you hold two magnets together so that like-poles are close with each other (two norths OR two souths), castle repel. Shot it! the feels prefer the magnets space surrounded by an invisible rubber layer advertise them apart. That invisible class is called a magnetic field.


Like-poles repel: We have the right to use curvy arrows (called field lines) to attract the form of the magnetic field approximately magnets. The arrows always start at the magnet’s north pole and allude towards its southern pole. As soon as two like-poles suggest together, the arrows native the 2 magnets point in the opposite directions and also the ar lines cannot sign up with up. For this reason the magnets will press apart (repel). Photo credit: writer provided.

It’s only when you host unlike-poles with each other (a north pointing to a south) that magnets stick with each other (they space attracted). Now, the magnetic ar acts favor a extended rubber tape pulling the magnets together. (Be careful; two solid magnets have the right to pinch her skin).


Unlike-poles attract: when a phibìc pole and south pole allude together, the arrows allude in the same direction so the ar lines can join up and the magnets pull with each other (attract). Photo credit: writer provided.

So, why perform magnets entice or repel?

You have probably heard the energy. Energy is essential to produce movement.

A automobile that’s sit still will begin to relocate when the petrol within it burns. That’s because petrol contains stored-up energy which is released when it burns.

When this stored-up power is released, several of it alters into movement energy. Scientists speak to this stored-up power “potential energy” and also call movement power “kinetic energy”.

When you start running, it’s since energy save on computer in her food is released and some the it alters into movement energy.

What’s this obtained to do with magnets? Well, the magnetic ar that surrounds all magnets has stored-up energy. But there’s a means to readjust the lot of stored-up energy surrounding the magnet. And the way you change it will tell girlfriend which way the magnet will move.

A ascendancy to remember

Everything in the universe follows a rule. I will certainly tell girlfriend the dominion in a moment, but an initial I have to say the it’s not simple to explain why the universe complies with this ascendancy without complicated mathematics. The best I can say is “that’s just how the universe behaves”. (I’m sorry. Ns don’t favor answers choose that either).

The dominance is: wherever over there is stored-up energy in things (and the object is no tied down or grounding in place), then the object will certainly be thrust in the direction that causes the stored-up power to decrease. The stored-up energy will it is in reduced and also replaced by movement energy.

So if 2 magnets room pointing through unlike-poles together (north pole come a southern pole), then bringing them closer together decreases the energy stored up in the magnetic field. They will be moved in the direction that decreases the amount of stored-up energy. That is, they are compelled together (this is dubbed attraction).

If two magnets room pointing v like-poles together (a southern pole come a southern pole OR north to north), climate stored-up power will to decrease if they relocate apart.

So our dominion says the magnets will be moved in the direction the decreases the lot of stored-up energy. That is, lock are compelled apart (repelled).

I should likewise say that as soon as dropped objects room attracted come Earth and fall down, the NOT due to the fact that of magnetism. It’s since of gravity. Earth is also surrounding by a gravitational ar which also consists of stored up energy.

Unlike magnetism, gravity never ever repels because gravity just points one way. There room no north and south poles for gravity.

review more: Earth"s magnetic heartbeat, a thinner previous and new alien civilizations

Can I store taking stored-up energy from the magnetic ar forever?


Once two magnets stick together, you’ll need to put part stored-up energy back into the field by pulling the magnets personal again. You can not get power for nothing.

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The energy needed to pull the magnets apart originates from you, and also you acquire it native the food friend eat. And the tree or pets you eat get their power from other plants and also animals, or native the Sun. All energy comes from somewhere.

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