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Difference between a ferromagnet and a paramagnet?

  1. Nov 26, 2006 #1
    I'm doing a presentation on magnetic hysteresis, and I have a feeling one of the profs will ask me what is the difference between a ferromagnet and a paramagnet. I haven't taken my 3rd year E&M class yet, so I would just like to know what I should answer.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2006 #2
    Ferromagnets are permanent magnets and paramagnets are not. This is probably the simplest and most important distinction.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2006 #3

    Gokul43201

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    Not quite true. A ferromagnet with a large remanence makes a good permanent magnet. A ferromagnet with a small remanence (ie: a soft ferromagnet) does not make a good permanent magnet.
     
  5. Nov 26, 2006 #4

    Claude Bile

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    Ferromagnets contain magnetic dipoles that 'influence' other dipoles around them, allowing them to align with one another. This property results in an enhanced magnetic response, as there is a reduced random variation in dipole orientation.

    Claude.
     
  6. Nov 26, 2006 #5
    And how do paramagnets behave? Are the dipoles just completely random?
     
  7. Nov 26, 2006 #6

    Gokul43201

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  8. Nov 27, 2006 #7

    Meir Achuz

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    In a paramagnet, the magnetization (M) is can be given as M=\chi H where
    \chi is positive. In a ferromagnet, M and H are almost unrelated, and M is much larger than H in magnitude. The use of \chi in ferromagnetism is meaningless, altough some engineers try to use it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
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