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Magnetic attraction to ferromagnetic material

  1. Jan 25, 2014 #1
    Why do magnets attract ferromagnetic materials only? Why not other materials as well?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2014 #2

    NascentOxygen

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    Staff: Mentor

    A magnet shows some attraction to paramagnetic materials, too, examples such as aluminium, copper sulphate, liquid oxygen. In these cases, the phenomenon is attributed to unpaired electrons.
     
  4. Jan 26, 2014 #3
    Can you explain in more detail?
     
  5. Jan 26, 2014 #4
    First of all you have to understand the nature of the substances response to fields.
    All substances consists of atoms these atoms contain electrons which produce a magnetic field as they orbit, the point is that the atoms are randomly arranged so the overall result of the produced fields is nothing, due to the random arrangement the fields produced are nearly canceled, but when a magnet is placed near any substance the atoms tend to get directed in the same direction to produce a unidirectional field same to the direction of the field produced by the magnet, the tendency and the ease for being arranged depends on the nature of the atoms some atoms are easily arranged when they are affected by an external magnetic field and some just don't. When talking about ferromagnets, we can say that its atoms are arranged In one direction easily and fast causing its magnetism and at the same time it loses its magnetism when the the effect of the external magnetic vanishes as the atoms return to its random arrangement once again
     
  6. Jan 26, 2014 #5

    NascentOxygen

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    No, but I bet Wikipedia can. :smile:

    You're sure to find some good youtube demonstrations showing a stream of liquid oxygen curving towards a strong magnet.
     
  7. Jan 27, 2014 #6
    Thanks! But why do electrons produce a magnetic field when they orbit?
     
  8. Jan 27, 2014 #7
    Yes, wikipedia did help but it's kind of complicated :) Thanks though!
     
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