Properties of Magnets

There are three primary magnetic elements, which are all transition metals. These include:

  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Cobalt

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. As steel is mostly made of iron, it is magnetic.

Magnets have two magnetic poles:

1. north pole – north seeking pole

2. south pole – south seeking pole

Here we have a north pole and a south pole:

Keep in mind that the north pole is typically represented by ‘N’ and the south pole by ‘S’.

Attraction and Repulsion

When you bring magnets close to each other, they can either attract or repel, resulting in two forces: attraction and repulsion.

Opposite poles attract each other

Consider a north pole and a south pole. As opposite poles attract, they will move towards each other.

Like poles repel each other

Consider two north poles. Since like poles repel, these magnets will push away from each other. The same occurs with two south poles; they also repel each other.

  • You can determine if a piece of metal is a magnet if it repels another confirmed magnet

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