Magnets and Magnetism

  1. i am very confused by the idea of magnets
    how do magnets attract things ? and if they do attract things , then what is the importance of flux lines ?
    i mean , shouldn't magnets just align things to the flux lines in the direction of the north pole ?
    i want to know how magnets work in principle , down to the electron level , so if there is any video , website , book or even a useful comment please share it with me * in layman high school terms please *
  2. jcsd
  3. You will need to understand the what electromagnetism is to fully understand how magnets work.Electromagnetism by itself is a very huge topic by the way but its one of the most interesting topics in physics ,so i would recommend you to first read about electromagnetism and then approach your question.
  4. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    This is a long, long road. Here's a few articles to get you started.

    (It's okay if you don't understand some of it. Just keep reading and it will make more sense over time)
  5. okay thanks alot , also could you recommend me a book about electromagnetism , something that goes from scratch ?
    also , it would be really REALLY helpful , if someone gives me an idea of electromagnetism , just a basic roundup about why do magnets attract magnetic bodies , i understand the idea of paired and unpaired electrons , so is it just electric attraction between unpaired electrons of the magnet and those of the attracted bodies ?
  6. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    No, it is the result of the magnetic field of these electrons adding together. (At least in a permanent magnet. Electromagnets are different) This magnetic field comes from the fact that the electrons have intrinsic "spin". (Kind of like they are spinning around an axis, but not quite. It's a quantum mechanical effect with no classical analogue)
  7. so do attracted objects like to be in the nearest flux line to the magnet ? that would explain the attraction right ?
  8. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Flux lines (aka field lines) aren't real. They are representations of the magnetic field that make it easier to visualize.

    From wiki:

    A field line is a locus that is defined by a vector field and a starting location within the field. Field lines are useful for visualizing vector fields, which are otherwise hard to depict. Note that, like longitude and latitude lines on a globe, or topographic lines on a topographic map, these lines are not physical lines that are actually present at certain locations; they are merely visualization tools.
  9. aha , would you still recommend any good book ?
  10. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Can't say I do. I'm an internet kind of guy for the most part. Most of what you want to know can be found on wikipedia or similar sites, honestly. If you want to actually learn the math and the in depth theory then you'll have to get a textbook or take some classes.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Draft saved Draft deleted