Basic Magnetism

Magnetic Fields

Domains and Hysteresis


Units of Magnetism

More on Magnetic Fields

Where does a magnet get its magnetic field? Magnetic fields are produced by moving electric charges. Everything is made up of atoms, and each atom has a nucleus made of neutrons and protons with electrons that orbit around the nucleus. Since the orbiting electrons ≠are tiny moving charges, a small magnetic field is created around each atom. These magnetic fields have a specific orientation or direction; this orientation is called the atom’s magnetic moment. Basically, all of the atoms in an object act like several tiny magnets. In most materials, all of these moments face random directions and they all cancel each other out, and there is a net magnetization of 0, which means the object will not be a magnet. However, when all or most of these moments align in the same direction, the entire object has a net magnetization and creates a magnetic field around itself.

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