According to every textbook I know of, magnetic forces do no work (e.g. David Griffiths Pg. 207). Yet this problem causes this to be hard to believe: If I take two magnets, I can set them down on a table (with a little friction). I then slowly push them toward each other, then at some point, the two magnets attract and move toward each other. That is, two magnets appear to exert a force on each other, and this force is exerted over the distance it takes to make contact (even with a little friction). Surly something is doing work to at least counteract the friction, if not cause non-zero mass magnets to accelerate. How can you tell me that magnetic forces do no work? These two magnets appear to do work, as far as I can tell. This problem has bothered me for a long time. Please explain! Thanks.