Discovering Magnets and Their Many Uses

Magnets are very fascinating and interesting elements. They have been used for so many functions as well as for having fun. Toying around with magnets can provide entertainment for children and adults alike. Playing with their incredible capabilities makes one at awe; it’s like magic how they cling to metal and other magnets as well. Man has been engrossed with their magnetic capabilities that they soon discovered how to synthesize these capabilities bringing forth the electromagnet. By simply coiling wires around into a loop, electric current is passed through these coils and a magnetic field is created. This can be very useful when natural magnets or permanent magnets are not available or too costly. Permanent magnets are those that don’t need outside influences to have a magnetic field.

Magnets are any object, be it a permanent magnet or an electromagnet, which has a magnetic field. Magnets are attracted or repelled by other objects. When that object can attract or repel a magnet it is said that such objects have high permeability, iron and steel are examples of those. All types of magnets have two poles, termed dipoles; they are the South Pole and the North Pole. Even if a magnet is reduced to a molecular size there would still be the two opposing poles. Similar poles would repel one another while dissimilar poles would attract each other and make them stick together.

Magnets have been very useful and have been utilized in many everyday objects. Many of what we enjoy today uses magnets in one way or another. For instance, magnets are converted into magnetic strips where in information can be stored. In the case of video tapes and audio tapes, the sound and images are stored on the magnetic coating of the tape. Placing these tapes near a strong magnet will destroy the data encoded inside it. ATM, credit and debit cards also employ a strip of magnetic field on its backside. This magnetic strip contains all the information needed to access their accounts and financial institutions that’s concerned with the card.

Microphones and speakers also need magnets to make them work. They utilize a combination of permanent magnet and an electromagnet. Speakers use the electromagnet to carry the signals that generate a varying magnetic field that influences the motion of the magnetic fields that is generated by the permanent magnet. This recurring force moves the cone which produces the sound. The microphone has the same concept but is done in a reverse manner. Common television sets and computer monitors also use magnets to generate images. Generators and electric motors also need magnets for proper operation. Transformers also use them. Then there are the other uses for magnets that can be quite fun and amusing, such as the refrigerator magnets.

Magnets though can be stripped off of their magnetic capabilities. For an electromagnet it is very easy, you only need to deprive it of its flow of current and the magnetic field will die down. For permanent magnets there are a couple of ways to demagnetize it. Rubbing one magnet to another in a random manner will do the job; some materials though cannot be demagnetized because they have a high coercive field. Intense heat also influences the magnetic attributes of a permanent magnet.

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