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What is the difference between an electromagnet and a permanent magnet?
Dec 26, 2018

There are a few key differences between permanent magnets and electromagnets.

Firstly, and possibly most relevant in terms of their uses, is that an electromagnet can be turned on and off, whereas a permanent magnet, as its name suggests, is permanent.

Second, an electromagnet’s polarity can be reversed (by changing the direction of the current flowing through it), making it useful for use in motors and generating motion. Permanent magnets meanwhile have the same polarity throughout.

Lastly, an electromagnet’s force can be controlled by changing the current flowing through the coil/wire, whereas a permanent magnet, again, has the same strength regardless of outside forces.

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