Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Compass is installed on an iron ship

  1. Nov 27, 2007 #1
    when a compass is installed on an iron ship, why must there be small correcting magnets installed near the compass? Is it because the iron is itself magnetized somehow?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #2
    Not necessarily. But iron is a magnetic material and will affect the compass needle. Just as you can use magnets to pick up nails. The nails aren't necessarily magnetized, yet they are still attracted to a magnet.
     
  4. Nov 28, 2007 #3

    stewartcs

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It could be due to the fact that true north is different from the magnetic north.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook