Questions on Magnetism and Domains

In summary, the conversation discusses the three magnetic elements (iron, cobalt, and nickel), the discovery of magnetism by the early Greeks, and the process of how these elements become magnetized. It also mentions the existence of a machine that can magnetize these elements and questions how magnets work, particularly on a quantum level. The conversation also mentions that gadolinium is another ferromagnetic element at room temperature and recommends further research on the topic rather than discussing it on a forum.
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I understand that only three elements are magnetic: Iron, Cobalt and Nickel, iron being the strongest. This element in it's purest state is un-magnetized, right? Composed of a bunch of crystal magnets or domains. So if you have three ores of each element at their purest form they won't magnetize? If this is true then how did humans come to discover/find out about magnetism in the time of the early Greeks? If this isn't the case how does this element become naturally magnetize. I understand that in modern times we have a machine that can magnetize these elements. So how does this happen? how do make these elements get a north-side and south-side.

And I know this is about the most simple question I can ask. But how do magnets work? especially on the quantum level. I understand that all the domains are in alignment after it's magnetized. Do magnets attract because all the atoms/electrons heads are pointing in one direction while their rears are pointing in another, do they then become attracted to their opposite side?
 
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  • #2
At least Gadolinium is also a ferromagnetic element at room temperature.
In the case of iron and its ores, like magnetite Fe3O4 (which is ferrimagnetic), the relatively weak magnetic field of Earth is sufficient to magnetize these materials to some extent and this was known already to the old greeks.
A forum is not the right place to learn how magnetism works in principle. There are excellent introductions available, both in printed form and online, e.g. wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetism

Btw, atoms and electrons don't have heads. It is rather the orientation of their spin vectors which makes up magnetism.
 

1. What is magnetism?

Magnetism is a phenomenon in which objects exert attractive or repulsive forces on each other due to the motion of their charged particles. It is caused by the alignment of electrons within an object, resulting in a magnetic field.

2. How do magnets work?

Magnets work by creating a magnetic field around them, which causes other objects with magnetic properties to be attracted or repelled. This is due to the alignment of electrons within the magnet, which creates a force on nearby objects.

3. What are magnetic domains?

Magnetic domains are regions within a material where the magnetic fields of individual atoms are aligned in the same direction. These domains contribute to the overall magnetic properties of the material.

4. How do domains affect the strength of a magnet?

The more aligned the magnetic domains are within a material, the stronger the overall magnetic field will be. This is because the aligned domains work together to create a larger and more concentrated magnetic field.

5. Can domains be changed?

Yes, domains can be changed through the application of an external magnetic field. This can cause the domains to align in a different direction, resulting in a change in the overall magnetic properties of the material.

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