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Magnet-Definition, Types, Properties, And Uses

August 14, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

There is a magnetic field produced by a material or object that is called a magnet. The most notable property of a magnet is the magnetic field that pulls on other ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, steel, nickel, etc. It attracts or repels other magnetic objects.

What is a Magnet?

A magnet is an object which has two poles, the one is called north andthe the other is south pole. These poles are attracted towards each other and repelled from each other. It is used to attract metal and magnetic objects.

image showing the magnet and its field

The best part about a magnet is that it attracts things without any power or batteries. The force of attraction is created by the magnetic field between the poles of the magnet.

Magnets are made up of two different types of elements, these are ferromagnetic elements and diamagnetic elements.

Ferromagnetic elements contain iron, nickel, cobalt, etc. which are also known as hard magnets. They are usually very strong magnets and they attract with force.

Diamagnetic elements are made up of copper, nickel, aluminium, etc. which are also known as soft magnets. These are the ones that attract with less force compared to hard magnets.

Types of Magnets

There are three types of magnets, and they are as follows:

  • Permanent magnet
  • Temporary magnet
  • Electromagnets

Permanent Magnet

A permanent magnet is an object made from a material that creates its own magnetic field. A refrigerator magnets is used to hold notes on a door. ferromagnetic are materials that can be magnetized, and are also the ones that are strongly attracted to a magnet. The elements iron, nickel and cobalt, and their alloys, some rare earth metals, and some naturally occurring minerals are included.

All other substances respond weakly to a magnetic field, even though ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic materials are the only ones attracted to a magnet that is strong enough to be considered magnetic.

Temporary Magnet

In the presence of a magnetic field temporary magnets can be magnetized. The materials lose their magnetic properties when the magnetic field is removed. Paper clips and iron nails are examples of temporary objects.


An electromagnet is made from a coil of wire that acts as a magnet when an electric current passes through it but stops when the current stops. The coil is wrapped around a soft ferromagnetic material such as mild steel, which greatly enhances the magnetic field produced by it.

Properties of Magnet

  • The iron filings cling to the end of the magnet as the attraction is the maximum at the ends of the magnets.
  • The magnetic poles are always in pairs. Whenever a magnet is suspended in the air, it always points in the north-south direction.
  • The pole pointing towards the north is known as the North Pole while the pole pointing towards the south is called the South Pole.
  • Like poles repel, unlike attract. When the distance between the two magnets is less, the magnetic force between them is greater.

How does a magnet work?

The magnets have poles that are north and south. When you rub a piece of iron along a magnet, the north-seeking poles of the atoms in the iron line up in the same direction.

Uses of Magnet

You are using magnets every time you use a computer. Some monitors use magnets to create images on the screen, while a hard drive uses magnets to store data. An electromagnet may be used to drive a noisemaker if your home has a doorbell. Magnets are used in TVs, speakers, microphones, AC generators, DC generators, transformers, electric motors, burglar alarms, cassette tapes, compasses, and car speedometers.

Magnets have a number of amazing properties. They can give current to a wire and provide Torque for electric motors. Small objects and animals can be elevated by a strong magnetic field. The Earth’s magnetic field protects it from the sun’s harmful rays. Some people use tiny magnets in their fingers to detect magnetic fields, according to a magazine report.

Doctors can use magnetic fields to look at patients’ internal organs with the help of MRI machines. Doctors use magnetic fields to treat broken bones that have not healed correctly. This method was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s. It may be possible to prevent bone and muscle loss in astronauts who are in zero-gravity environments for long periods of time.