Do you remember as a child ever being fascinated by magnets? Such a simple thing yet complicated. They were fun to play with but, you couldn't help but wonder how and why they worked. The first magnet compass was discovered by the Chinese around 200B.C. Fortune tellers enjoyed using it at first, but eventually people realized it was a means of direction. The first magnets were made of iron.
The magnets of today are made from alloy. These contain metals such as nickel, iron, copper, and cobalt aluminum. Materials such as iron, steel and nickel are attracted to magnets. Theses materials are attracted to the poles of the magnet.
One pole is the north seeking pole, the other is the South Pole. Opposite poles attract, and like poles repel. Magnetism is the push and pull force you feel or see when using a magnet. This force can even work over a distance without coming in contact with an object. The most interesting of all might be the earth's magnetic field; it is as if there were a huge bar magnet thru the center of the earth. This is the reason a compass needle points north.
There is even such a thing as induced magnetism. This happens when a piece of unmagnetized magnetic material comes in contact with the pole of a permanent magnet. When this happens, the material becomes magnetized and you have a new magnet. Actually magnets are a very important part of our lives. Many items that we use everyday would not exist without them. Items such as radios, television, speakers, toys, and quite a variety of games are made with magnets.
They are all around us and used in so many different ways. Magnets come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. It is interesting to think that something that may have fascinated you as a child could be even more exciting as you learn more about them.
James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest. Read more at www.magnets-central.info