Magnets are easy to use, safe, and fun. Two magnets snap together and can stick like glue. Certain objects push or pull on things because they are magnetic. Magnetism is another property of some kinds of matter.
A magnet has a north and south pole. The north pole of a magnet will attract the south pole of a magnet. The north pole of a magnet will repel the north pole of a magnet, and the south pole will also repel the south pole. In short, like poles repel, and unlike poles attract.
Two different kinds of permanent magnets are called bar magnets and horse show magnets.
The area surrounding a magnet is called its magnetic field. The magnetic field of a magnet is an invisible field which is created by its magnetism. To ancient people, magnetism probably seemed like magic. The force for magnets to attract or repel each other or to attract other objects is caused by moving electrons.
The Earth also contains magnetic materials and behaves like a gigantic magnet. The north pole of a magnet will point approximately to the Earth's North Pole and south pole of a magnet to the Earth's South Pole. A compass has a magnetic tip on the needle which points towards the North Pole. Compasses are used to help people prevent getting lost such as hikers or captains on a ship, especially many years ago when there was no GPS or maps to help guide them.
A magnet may also be used to convert an unmagnatized piece of magnetic material, such as an iron nail, into a magnet. This is done by rubbing it with the magnet. This is called magnetization. Magnets made this way are called temporary magnets because they eventually lose their magnetism.
Another method in creating a temporary magnet is by using electricity. This can be done by wrapping an iron nail with a coil of wire. By passing electricity through the coil of wire the iron nail will become a temporary magnet or an electromagnet. The strength of the electromagnet depends on the size of the electric current and the number of times the coil is wrapped around the nail. If the electricity stops flowing through the coil the nail will no longer be magnetic.
There are many uses for permanent magnets and temporary magnets like an electromagnet. Electric appliances with electric motors use magnets to turn electricity into motion. Other examples include electric toothbrushes, fans, lawnmowers, and anything else containing a motor.
Magnets are used to hold doors closed, such as in refrigerators, kitchen cabinets and others. Magnets are also used to read and write data on a computer's hard drive or on old-fashioned cassette tapes. There are more magnets in headphones and stereo speakers which help to turn stored music back into the sounds you can hear.
In summary, magnetism is another property of some kinds of matter. There are two poles to a magnet, the south pole and the north pole. Like poles repel and unlike poles repel. There are two different kinds of magnets, temporary and permanent. A temporary magnet can be made by using electricity. All magnets contain an invisible electromagnetic field which surrounds the magnet. There are many uses for magnets, from holding doors closed to helping music sound better with the magnets inside of speakers.
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