There are only three 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:

  • north pole – north seeking pole
  • south pole – south seeking pole

Here we have a north pole and a south pole:

Keep in mind, the north pole is usually represented as N and the south pole is usually represented as S.

Attraction and Repulsion

The two forces that can happen when you put magnets together are attraction and repulsion.

Opposite poles attract each other

Here we have a north and south pole. As opposite poles attract, they are attracted to each other.

Like poles repel each other

Here we have two like poles. As like poles repel each other, the magnets repel each other. This is the same with two south poles, they will also repel each other.

  • You can only know a piece of metal is a magnet if it repels another known magnet