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Earth`s magnetic field and permanent magnets

  1. Jan 31, 2009 #1
    I was always fascinated by magnets and I never understood, why Earth`s magnetic field doesn`t conspicuously affect permanent magnets. Is it too weak or what?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2009 #2
    A compass with a needle made of lodestone should work just as well as one with a needle made of iron. But if by ''conspicuous" you mean flying through the air, then notice that the north and south poles of a piece of lodestone are so close together compared to the scale of the earth that there is just as much pull towards the north pole as there is a push.
     
  4. Jan 31, 2009 #3
    But what if you were on the pole? The magnet should attract to the ground but I have not heard about such a case.
     
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