Science
Physics
Magnetism

What makes a magnet magnetic?

Answer

User Avatar
Wiki User
01/07/2010

How Magnets Work

Alignment of the outer valence electron orbitals in iron. Every atom in iron has a north side and a south side. If they are all aligned, the entire piece of metal will have a north side and a south side, and it is therefore magnetic. The outer orbitals have only one electron and their motion in the circular path gives rise to a central force through the center of the orbital whose direction is based to the right hand curve rule. And its this force that either expels or attracts a magnet towards other iron materials.

Note: polarity of magnetic dipoles is described as north and south. polarity of electric dipoles is +/-.