We all played with magnets as kids. Remember when we used to dismantle the old speaker or those dual oval shaped
singing stoned magnets. Oh playing with magnets was one of my favorite pastime! And also while i was in school, magnetism was the only topic in physics that I understood. Physics could be tough sometimes. 😉
Magnets have played a great role in our daily lives. Every Computer have magnets for data storage. Magnets are must for speakers in our television sets, radios, headphones. Magnets are used with utmost priority and usage in Industries. They are used in X-Rays or MRI scans in medicine sector. Magnets are used as clasps in our purses and bags, curtains, children toys and of-course my favorite – Refrigerator magnets. Lets start from the basics of magnets.
“A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is responsible for the most notable property of a magnet: a force that pulls on other ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, and attracts or repels other magnets.” as Wikipedia says. “Ancient people learned about magnetism from lodestones, naturally magnetized pieces of iron ore. They are naturally created magnets, which attract pieces of iron.”
Recall that an electric dipole consists of two equal but opposite charges separated by some distance, such as in a polar molecule. Every magnet is a magnetic dipole. The E field or the Electric field is due an electric dipole and just like it the magnetic field (B field) is in a bar magnet.
Physics Recalled? Great! If you can recall this, then you must also remember that interesting property of magnets. That is magnetic mono-pole does not exists! Yes, although electric fields could be due to isolated +ve or -ve charges, its not the same with magnetic fields. It is impossible to isolate the N and S poles of a magnet. Remember the BAR Magnet Demo.
The bar magnet on the left is surrounded by iron filings, which orient themselves according to the magnetic field they are in. When we try to separate the two poles by breaking the magnet, we only succeed in producing two distinct dipoles. On magnets the magnetic effects are concentrated in areas known as poles. While the entire magnet may exhibit the magnetic effects they are strongest at the poles. These poles always occur in pairs. [s]
And thinking on same notes, I tested it on a Refrigerator Magnet. To my surprise, this property wasn’t true in our favorite souvenirs from all the places. 😉 When you turn over these rectangular magnets they will not stick to your fridge surface anymore. Ever wondered why?? Well I got curious and found out that they are designed in such a way! Wikipedia(once again) came to my rescue of curiosity.
Unlike most conventional magnets that have distinct north and south poles, flat refrigerator magnets are often magnetized during manufacture with alternating north and south poles on the refrigerator side. This can be felt by taking two similar (or identical) refrigerator magnets and sliding them against each other with the “magnetic” sides facing each other: the magnets will alternately repel and attract as they are moved a few millimeters. This construction gives twice the magnetism on one side and is thus more effective at keeping the large planar magnet uniformly attracted to the steel refrigerator than a uniformly-polarized magnet would be.This permits cheaper types and sizes of magnets to be used.The arrangement is called a Halbach array
Innovative Right? Try testing this with your own refrigerator magnet!
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