Magnetism Basics

What is a Magnet?
So we know that magnets are everywhere, but what exactly is a magnet and what is magnetism? A magnet is any object that produces its own magnetic field that interacts with other magnetic fields. Magnets have two poles, a north pole and a south pole. The magnetic field is represented by field lines that start at a magnetâ€™s north pole and end at the south pole.

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When most people think of magnetism, they think about the magnetic force experienced between two magnets. The magnetic force is caused by the magnetâ€™s magnetic field and points in the direction of the field lines. If you have two magnets next to each other and their north poles are facing each other or their south poles are facing each other, you can see that the field lines move away from each other, so you feel a repelling force between the two magnets.

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If you put the north pole of one magnet next to the south pole of the other, then the field lines go straight from the north pole of the first magnet to the south pole of the second, and you feel an attractive force between the two magnets.

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This is why opposite poles attract and like poles repel