Magnetic properties, characteristics and shapes

A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is responsible for the most notable property of a magnet: a force that pulls on other ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, and attracts or repels other magnets.

These are the most common type of magnets that we know and interact with in our daily lives. E.g.; The magnets on our refrigerators. These magnets are permanent in the sense that once they have been magnetized they retain a certain degree of magnetism.

Magnetic Field Characteristics

1. Magnetic Field In and Around a Bar Magnet

A magnetic field is a change in energy within a volume of space. The magnetic field surrounding a bar magnet can be seen in the magnetograph below. A magnetograph can be created by placing a piece of paper over a magnet and sprinkling the paper with iron filings.

2. Magnetic Fields in and around Horseshoe and Ring Magnets

Magnets come in a variety of shapes and one of the more common is the horseshoe (U) magnet. The horseshoe magnet has north and south poles just like a bar magnet but the magnet is curved so the poles lie in the same plane. The magnetic lines of force flow from pole to pole just like in the bar magnet.

General Properties of Magnetic Lines of Force

They seek the path of least resistance between opposite magnetic poles. In a single bar magnet as shown to the right, they attempt to form closed loops from pole to pole.

They never cross one another.

They all have the same strength.

Shapes of Magnets

The shapes are like bar, disc, sphere, horsesho etc, listed below:

Bar Magnets.

Horseshoe Magnets.

Ring Magnets.

Disc Magnets.

Sphere Magnets.

Cylinder Magnets.