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Magnetism by hitting metal?

  1. Apr 22, 2008 #1
    If you take a screwdriver for example, and hit it a few times near the tip with a hammer or something hard; why does the screwdriver become magnetic?
    I was shown someone doing this, and shortly afterwards it was able to attract nails or screws around.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2008 #2

    berkeman

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    I've never seen this. Maybe the head of the hammer was magnetized. If anything, hitting a magnetized object generally weakens it magnetization.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2008 #3

    Danger

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    Actually, we used to do it once in a while just for fun. The metal rod or whatever has to be aligned with magnetic north. It seems that the vibrations loosen up the magnetic domains enough that they react to the Earth's field and turn around. The effect is very weak, though.
     
  5. Apr 22, 2008 #4

    berkeman

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    Ahh, interesting. Thanks for that Danger! I would have never thought of that. Learn something new every dang day here on the PF!
     
  6. Apr 22, 2008 #5

    Danger

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    Wow... I never thought that I'd get one over on you, especially in this area. :bugeye:
     
  7. Apr 22, 2008 #6

    berkeman

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    :rofl: Pppffffttttt! They don't call you Danger for nothing! :biggrin:
     
  8. Apr 23, 2008 #7

    Andy Resnick

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    Searches using "work hardening", "plastic deformation" and magnetization did yield a large number of articles, for example:

    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/20/19613/00908685.pdf?arnumber=908685

    But I could locate a clear discussion of the subject.
     
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