A magnet is a material typically a metal with the ability to create a magnetic field. There are three types of magnets which are electromagnets that are heavily dependent on electrical currents. Temporary magnets have no properties of their own but can be magnetized by external fields. The last kind is the permanent magnets which create their magnetic field.
Parts of Permanent Magnets
A permanent magnet is made up of three components.
- Magnetic axis; this is a line that originates from one pole to the other. The line functions as a junction between the two poles of a magnet. Along this line is where the magnetic fields converge
- North pole; This is the portion of the magnet found on its surface, from which the magnetic field originates. That feature is similar to the geographical north pole of the earth hence the name. If suspended on a string, this portion of the magnet will orient itself to face its geographical counterpart.
- South pole; This is the surface of the magnet where the magnetic fields merge, a character similar to the geographical south of the earth. Just like the North Pole, when suspended on a string this section will align itself to its earth’s geographical counterpart.
Parts of Electromagnet
This type of magnet consists of a power source and a wire. Since it relies on an electrical current to generate its magnetic field. The wire is wrapped into a coil around the metal, and when connected to the power source it creates the field.
When connected the metal will have both a north pole and a south pole. These properties however are temporary and will vanish without the currents.