# What is a magnet?

Any material that has the property of attracting magnetic metals to it such as iron, cobalt and nickel is called a magnet

## Shapes of Magnet

Magnets are of many shapes. They may be cylindrical bar magnets, rectangular bar magnets, horseshoe or U-shaped magnets or ring magnets. The shape and size of a magnet are designed depending on where it is to be used.

At times you might have played with a magnet or a magnetic toy. If you have a magnet with you, move it in the soil around. The magnet picks up some dark particles from the soil on its two free ends. Examine these particles and the material of which they are made. You will find them to be particles of iron.

## Magnetic Force And Magnetic Poles

The force that a magnet exerts on iron or magnetic material is called a magnetic force. A magnet can attract an iron nail from a distance. Thus, a magnetic force acts even when there is no contact between the magnet and the magnetic substance. It acts from a distance.

Magnetic poles or the poles of a magnet are the two free end of a bar magnet or a horseshoe magnet. The pull force called (attraction) from a magnet is maximum from these two poles. The other parts of a magnet do not exert a magnetic force. Magnetic force is minimum towards the centre of a magnet.

## Properties of Magnet

William Gilbert was the first person to study about magnet and its properties. He had also written a book titled “The Magnet“.
(1) Poles of Magnet. A magnet has there are two poles-North pole and South pole. It attracts iron filings on each pole.

(2) Directional Property of Magnet. The poles of a bar magnet rest in a particular direction when suspended by a thread. North pole of the magnet faces the South pole and South pole of the magnet faces North pole of the earth.

(3) Unlike poles attract each other whereas like poles repel each other

Attraction. Opposite poles of magnets attract each other. If the north pole of a bar magnet is taken close to the south pole of another bar magnet, it attracts it and clings. It is called attraction.

Repulsion. Like poles of two magnets go away or repel each other. It is called repulsion. Such as N-Or S-Spotless.

## Artificial Magnet

Natural magnets are not found at every place and they have low magnetic power. So, artificial magnets are prepared by man.
These magnets have stronger magnetic power. They are of much use at any time and at any place. They exist in many different shapes like Nar magnet. U-shaped magnet, cylindrical magnet, dumble-shaped magnet, etc.

When a pin is brought near a bar magnet, it is attracted towards it and sticks to it. If another pin is now brought near the first pin, it will stick towards the other pin. It means that the first pin is magnetised. But as soon as its contact with the magnet is broken, Its magnetic property will disappear, it gets magnetised temporarily.

Temporary magnets. They develop the magnetic property for sometime when they are in contact with a magnet. If they lose contact, they behave like an ordinary material. They are weak magnets.

Permanent magnets. The materials that retain the magnetic property for long even after removal from a magnet are called permanent magnets. They are used as a magnet and can make a temporary magnet when they are rubbed on iron material. They are strong magnets.

The Earth Is A Big Magnet

The earth pulls every object towards it. The earth acts like a big magnet. The imaginary magnet inside the earth is believed to be lying in the direction of geographic north and geographic south, in a little inclined position. A bar magnet suspended freely through a thread or a needle in a magnetic compass comes to lie at rest in the direction North-South only. It is assumed that the Earth’s magnet has its south pole towards geographic north. Since unlike poles of two magnets attract one another, the suspended magnet seeks its direction from the earth’s magnet.

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