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Chemical process of magnets

  1. Dec 28, 2014 #1
    When you take two magnets one being positive, the other negative. What is the chemical makeup of these two magnets that makes them repel each other. And if I have this correct, electricity is caused by magnet coils spinning around which generates electricity. What is it about magnets (especially chemically) that gives them the property to make electricity and the ability to repel one another.

    Thank you
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  3. Dec 28, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    A positive magnetic pole and a negative pole attract, and may be the same physical structure, a horseshoe magnet for instance, and chemically identical.

    Magnetism is not a chemical property.
  4. Dec 28, 2014 #3
    What is magnetism exactly then if it's not based on chemicals. Is it based on their atomic makeup?
  5. Dec 28, 2014 #4


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    This sentence fragment is not clear. What is a positive magnet and a negative magnet?

    You should do some basic research on magnetism, then ask your questions.

    Here is a free tip to get you started:

  6. Dec 28, 2014 #5

    Doug Huffman

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    I am a proud sustaining contributor to The Wikimedia Foundation. I hope that you also will.
  7. Dec 28, 2014 #6


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    Some background on magnets - permanent and ferromagnetic.

    Chemistry does play a role in terms of the microstructure and effect on 'domains' in the material. The effect of microstructure and independence from chemical composition can be seen in austenitic steels (which are not magnetic) that can be thermally treated to become ferritic and/or martensitic steels (which are magnetic). Rare earth elements can be used to make magnets.

    However, magnetism is considered a physical property rather than a chemical property.
  8. Jan 7, 2015 #7
    Iron is a common magnet component. Iron has 4 unpaired electrons, and so they have spin. This spin creates magnetism, if I remember correctly. Pocket domains are aligned, but not relative to each other, so an iron nail is not magnetic. However, if it is exposed to an external magnetic field, the domains align with the field and with each other, so the iron nail is now magnetic. Hope this helps.

    Also, magnetism is studied by chemists, because chemists also look at atoms and their components. That's a place where physics and chemistry overlap somewhat. (You know: orbitals. That's definitely chemistry.)
  9. Jan 7, 2015 #8
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