In regards to the famous experiment where a magnet is put under a sheet of paper with iron shavings on top, i dont understand why they distribute according to the shape of the magnetic lines of flux. (as seen in the link below) https://www.google.ca/search?q=iron+shavings+magnetic+field&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=QIuyUuevHubmyQHKhYCgCg&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1454&bih=738 I'll explain the way im thinking of it so someone can correct me. I imagine a magnet as giving off a fixed vector force in all directions, and that the magnitude and direction of the vector at any point is dependent on proximity to the negative/positive poles. So when you dump the iron shavings over the magnet, i dont understand what causes them to gravitate to these specific lines, and why there would be gaps without shavings between the flux lines. I imagine the distribution of the iron shavings to be relative to the magnetic vector frce applied to them from where they land.