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How does a permanent magnet work?
Dec 28, 2018

Permanent magnets are magnetic because they are made of permanent magnets. Every electron is a magnetic dipole, with an associated magnetic field. In certain solids (nickel, iron and cobalt) there is not only an unpaired electron, there are also short-range forces between atoms that align the magnetic moments of those unpaired electrons, to produce a fairly large region, a "magnetic domain," in which all the moments point in roughly the same direction. Various ways of disturbing the material can result in some domains growing while others shrink, with the result that the entire solid develops a magnetic moment.

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