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Magnets


Welcome to magnets and magnetism !


Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Neodymium
Section 3: Ferrite (Ceramic)
Section 4: Samarium-Cobalt


Section 1: IntroductionTo top of page.

The wondrous world of magnets and magnetism provide many fun filled hours of learning and exploration ! Our planet that we live on, earth, has a magnetic field, an electric motor need a magnetic field to operate, a CRT (cathode ray tube) screen need a magnetic field to operate. There are many examples where a magnetic field play a major role in science, equipment, technology, etc.

Fast facts:

  • An important point to note is that the improper use of permanent magnets can lead to undesirable consequences and safety precautions should be adhered to, especially for more powerful magnets.
  • Each magnet has two poles, a north pole and a south pole, usually defined as N for the north pole and S for the south pole.

What properties play a role in a permanent magnet?:

  • The strength of the magnetic field that a permanent magnet exhibit.
  • The ability of a permanent magnet not to become demagnetized.
  • The density of the magnetic energy that a permanent magnet exhibit.
  • The temperature at which a permanent magnet is completely demagnetized.

All four of the above mentioned properties of a permanent magnet depend upon two factors:

  • The composition of the material that a permanent magnet is made of.
  • The manufacturing process that is followed.

How can we define a magnet?

  • We can define each magnet as having two poles namely a north pole and a south pole.
  • When a magnet is broken into smaller pieces each smaller piece of the original magnet will have its own north pole and south pole.
  • The magnetic field of a magnet concentrate at the poles of a magnet. The magnetic field tend to be the strongest at the poles of a magnet.
  • Similar poles push each other away and dissimilar poles attract each other.
  • The magnetic lines in a magnetic field form a closed circuit.
  • The magnetic lines in a magnetic field move from N north to S south.
  • The magnetic lines in a magnetic field move the easiest through soft iron.
  • The magnetic lines in a magnetic field push each other away.
  • The magnetic lines in a magnetic field can never cross each other.
  • The magnetic lines in a magnetic field are always in tension.
  • A piece of soft iron placed in a magnetic field is slightly magnetized by means of induction.
  • The magnetic field always follow the shortest route or path.


Section 2: Neodymium To top of page.

Neodymium Nd is a chemical element on the periodic table with atomic number 60 and is part of the lanthanide group. Neodymium is an important element in metallurgy to form chemical compositions of neodymium-iron-boron that produce very strong magnets. Neodymium-iron-boron may be abbreviated as NIB. Neodymium is a metal and appear shiny silvery-white.

Oxidation of Neodymium take place on the outer surface when in contact with air and may appear tarnished. Neodymium has three oxidation states or oxidation numbers. The oxidation number may be integers positive, negative, zero or fractions. The opposite of oxidation is reduction and has to do with an atom loosing or gaining electrons. When the atom loose electrons oxidation take place and when the atom gain electrons reduction take place. For oxidation or reduction to take place a chemical reaction need to occur.

In English neodymium is pronounced nee-oh-dim-iuhm and was discovered in 1885 in Austria, Vienna by Karl Auer. The crystal structure of neodymium is hexagonal and neodymium is paramagnetic.

Neodymium-iron-boron magnet

In the eighties, neodymium-iron-boron magnets became available on the market through development and production by two groups of companies. Neodymium-iron-boron may be described as an alloy with the chemical formula Nd12Fe14B and has a tetragonal crystalline structure. On the periodic table, the alloy that is formed is between neodymium Nd from the lanthanide group of elements, iron Fe from the transition metal group of elements and boron B from the metalloid group of elements.

Neodymium magnets are readily available and appear shiny and silver in colour. Shapes and sizes vary and may be small to really large. Neodymium magnets have many uses especially where a strong permanent magnetic field is required. With neodymium magnets it is now possible to produce permanent magnets that are smaller in size and lighter in weight. Different methods of producing neodymium magnets exist, each with its own manufacturing process and different grades for example N35 to N52. Compared to other permanent magnets, neodymium magnets have a stronger magnetic field, denser magnetic energy and are better to resist demagnitation but have a lower temperature at which a neodymium magnet become completely demagnetized.

Where are neodymium magnets used?:

  • Electric motors in toys, passanger vehicles, cordless power tools, servos, stepper motors.
  • Actuators.
  • Loudspeakers, headphones.
  • Mechanical hard drives for personal computers, mainframes, laptops.
  • Some generators generating electrical power.
  • Name badges.


Section 3: Ferrite (Ceramic) To top of page.

Ferrite magnets are readily available and appear dark gray in colour. Ferrite magnets are hard and brittle and chip on impact. Ferrite magnets may also be described as ceramic magnets and does not conduct electricity. A general formula of MO.6Fe2O3 exist for ferrite magnets where M reperesent barium or strontium or the combination of the two used during the manufacturing process and Fe2O3 is the chemical formula for iron oxide.

The word barium is pronounced bair-iuhm and the word strontium is pronounced stron-tee-uhm. The chemical formula for strontium carbonate is SrCO3 and the chemical formula for barium carbonate is BaCO3. Strontium is present on the periodic table with symbol Sr and atomic number 38 in the alkaline earth group of metals and barium is also present on the periodic table with symbol Ba and atomic number 56 in the alkaline earth group of metals.



Section 4: Samarium-Cobalt To top of page.

The word samarium is pronounced sam-ayr-iuhm. In the year 1879 the element samarium was discovered by a gentleman with the name of Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in France, Paris. SmCo5, Sm2Co17. Samarium-Cobalt magnets are very special in that they have the ability to maintain magnetisation even at higher temperatures. Samarium may be described as a metal, silvery-white in colour with symbal Sm and atomic number 62 and is part of the lanthanides group of elements on the periodic table.

The word cobalt is pronounced koh-bolt. Cobalt is a hard metal, silvery-blue in appearance with ferromagnetic properties and is present on the periodic table in group 9 of the platinum group of elements with atomic number 27 and symbol Co.





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The last time this page was modified, was: 9:52 pm, 16 Jul 2018

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Astronomy related links.
Science experiments in the oscillation of a single point of light !
Science experiments in electrophotography !
Science experiments with a lemon battery !
Links related to capacitors.
Links related to diodes.
Links related to LDRs.
Links related to LEDs.
Links related to voltage regulators.
Links related to resistors.
Links related to transistors.

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