Why are all metals not attracted to a magnet?

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The complete answer to this question involves a deep understanding of quantum mechanics and electromagnetic theory, and is quite difficult to explain. Fortunately, there is an easier way, albeit not 100% accurate, that will guide you in the right direction.

All un-ionized atoms at rest have a certain number of protons, having +1 charge each, in the nucleus. The net positive charge from all of the protons creates an electric field surrounding the nucleus which attracts negative charges and repels positive charges. The act of attracting and repelling other charges toward and away from the nucleus requires the protons to use energy, so were this attraction and repellent behavior to continue on indefinitely, the protons would have to keep using energy indefinitely. However, were the protons able to reach an electrically neutral state of equilibrium with another particle, they wouldn't have to keep spending all that energy. Well, those particles do exist, they're called electrons, and sure enough, they and the protons do reach an electrically neutral state of equilibrium by bonding with each other in an equal quantity.

The above wall of descriptive text was a set up, since I'm pretty sure you know that electrons are in atoms, but you should pay attention to a subtle, yet very important idea that I used. There were two states described above, one with no electrons and one with an equal amount of electrons and protons, we'll call them state 1 and state 2 respectively. The system ended up choosing state 2 over state 1, but why? The answer is, as it is so often, energy. State 2, as was explained above, required the overall use of less energy than state 1. We call states like state 2 energetically favorable as opposed to state 1 which was energetically unstable, or simply unstable. Now for the part that would have driven Van Gogh crazy enough to slice off his other ear: The system in state 1 knew that state 2 existed before ever even noticing an electron. In fact, state 1 was doing everything it could possibly do to get to the lower energy state regardless of whether or not it was even feasible; it only cared that it was possible. This might not seem like a big deal, but in fact, it's the reason why EVERYTHING happens. All phenomena that is observable in the universe are only observable because of systems trying to get to a lower energy state, regardless of whether or not it will ever find the means.

This is why some metals aren't attracted to magnets. Those particular metals have reached a state of energy so low already, that the magnet doesn't have the strength to pull them out of it. Now, the way they reached this state is a bit complicated and weird, so I'm not going to go too in depth. Basically, there are shells (think of concentric spherical surfaces existing further and further away from the nucleus) of allowed energy states surrounding the nucleus that electrons are able to populate. Mind you, from quantum mechanics, the electrons can only be in these shells, not between them. Each shell has a maximum number of electrons that are allowed to be in them. Additionally, the most energetically favorable state for the atom would be if it had the exact amount of electrons to fill up one of the shells, no more no less. As discussed before, the atom is going to do whatever it can to get to that point, and, once it's there, try its hardest not to leave. That's the reason why some metals don't magnetize, for to do so, would mean leaving there stable state.

Bismuth, gold, lead, mercury, silver and copper are examples of metals with most, if not all, of their shells closed. Not surprisingly then, they are also examples of metals that don't magnetize.

Lastly, it's important to remember that I'm using a model to describe experimental results. There are no actual physical shells inside an atom, it just helps to think of it that way.
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What metals are not attracted by a magnet?

Most metals are not attracted by magnets. The only common onesstrongly attracted to a magnet are cobalt, nickel and iron (steelis mostly iron). Examples of non-magnetic metals are iron andcopper.

Are metals strongly attracted to magnets?

Most metals are not attracted to magnets at all. Some are, like: Iron, Steel Stainless, Steel, Brass, Zinc, Copper, Bronze, Aluminum, Silver, Gold, Mercury, Nickel, & Magnesium.

What metals are attracted to magnets?

Only ferrous metals i.e. those which contain iron. Non ferreousmetals such as brass, aluminum, copper and most stainless steelalloys are non magnetic because they have no iron or very smallamounts.

Which metals would magnets attract?

Ferrous metals, such as: Iron (Fe) Cobalt (Co) and some alloys respond to magnetism. Aluminum responds to electromagnetic eddy currents.

Which metals are not attracted by magnets?

Metals that are not attracted by by magnets are Non Ferrous metals. Metals that can be magnets and are picked up by magnets are ferrous metals, IE they contain iron (Fe) steel, aluminum, and something else! Answer: Metals with iron in them are magnetic. Most others are not, for example, c ( Full Answer )

What metals are magnets attracted to?

Only ferrous metals i.e. those which contain iron. Non ferreous metals such as brass, aluminum, copper and most stainless steel alloys are non magnetic because they have no iron or very small amounts.

What is it in magnets that causes it to attract metal?

Magnets can retain a permanent magnetic field. All atoms have a magnetic field which are randomly arranged in the object. Magnets and ferrous metals can retain or temporarily align the atomic fields, thus they are magnetic.

Magnets attract metals that contain what?

Iron (or, from a physics standpoint, ferrous or, more probably, ferromagnetic metal). Magnets attract magnetic material, and there are only a few ferrous materials around. The word ferrous is from the word ferrum , which is the Latin word for iron. The chemical symbol for iron is Fe and it comes ( Full Answer )

Do magnets attract all metals?

No. Magnets do not attract gold, silver, aluminum, brass, copper or lead. Magnets will attract nickel and iron or steel.

Which metals do not attract magnets?

The only element attracted to magnets is iron. If a magnet sticks to it, it contains iron. Since steel is mostly iron, it attracts to magnets as well. Gold, silver, titanium, platinum, copper, and aluminum are metals that don't attract to magnets, just to name a few.

Why are metals attracted to magnets?

Magnets are just certain minerals that create a strong magnetic field. Everything in the universe, down to our atoms, creates a magnetic field (which is why you can't walk through walls, even though the atoms in you are relatively far apart from one another). Some metals (such as iron) have a magnet ( Full Answer )

Can magnets attract all metals?

Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni), Cobalt (Co) and some alloys are the only metals that respond to magnetism.

Which metals can be attracted to a magnet?

All metals that are magnetic are called ferrous metals, and will contain some iron. Non ferrous metals are non-magnetic, but are typically far more resistant to corrosion

What metals attract to magnets?

I believe those would basically be the ferromagnetic materials. You can find a list of elements and compounds here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferromagnetism#Ferromagnetic_materials See the table on the right.

What metals attract a magnet to them?

Iron and alloys containing iron. Answer: Iron, nickel and cobalt and their alloys are the common metals thatattract magnets. Also, the rare metals gadolinium, neodymium andsamarium attract magnets.

What metals are not attracted to a magnet?

Every single one except iron, nickel and cobalt. . Most alloys - but not all of them - of these metals are also magnetic, such as steel. . ( just an extra fact for you there (: )

How does a magnet attract metal objects?

it sets up an invisible atmosphere around itself called a magnetic field. When a pm or nail is in that field, it becomes a little magnet too.

What metal is attracted to magnet?

iron, cobalt and nickel but any compound with any of these in likesteel, which contains iron, are attracted to a magnet.

What metals attract magnet?

No metals can attract a magnet. Only magnets can attract metals. (Believe me there is a difference).. However the most common examples of metals which magnets would be able to pick up are Iron and Steel (steel is an alloy of Iron and Carbon)

Which metals are magnets attracted to?

Metals such as: . Iron and Steel . Stainless Steel . Brass . Zinc . Copper . Bronze . Aluminum . Silver . Gold . Mercury . Nickel . Magnesium Hope this helps!

Why don't all magnets attract to metal?

I'm not sure I understood the question, but I think you mean why don't magnets attract all metals. Well, magnets can only attract ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic substances. The only metals that exhibit ferromagnetism (no pure metal exhibits ferrimagnetism) are iron, nickel and cobalt. Other metals ( Full Answer )

Why do magnets attracts metal?

Magnets attract metal through their magnetic field. It is only attracted to Ferris metals such as Steel.

Why are all metals attracted by magnet?

All metals are not attracted by a magnet. Most metals are not attracted by a magnet. It is iron and steel which is made from iron that are attracted by a magnet. Most other metals such a copper, aluminum, zinc, brass, nickel etc. are not attracted to a magnet...

What non-metals are attracted to magnets?

Non- metals are those which have the tendency to gain electrons that means they have unpaired electrons and unpaired electrons are responsible for their magnetic behaviour.

Why magnet attract only metal?

Magnets rely on the semi-free transfer of electrons between the magnet itself and the magnetic object allowing the molecules to be aligned to the same orientation as the magnet. Metals are the most common source of such a material but are not the only elements out there that react to a magnetic fiel ( Full Answer )

Why doesn't a magnet attract all metals?

Because not all metals can be attracted to magnet. (by previous contributor) Some metals can be attracted to a magnet. Yes, only some, in fact only steel, iron, nickel, cobalt and other permanent magnets. These metals/materials are ferromagnetic, the type of magnetism where the metal can be attrac ( Full Answer )

Is pot metal attracted to a magnet?

Answer: Generally, pot metal will not be attracted by a magnet. Let's dig around a bit and see what's up. Pot metal is a general term, and it is applied to cheap, readily available metals with a low melting point that are used to make "trinkets" and other metal objects that are inexpensively pro ( Full Answer )

Will pot metal attract a magnet?

Generally, pot metal will not be attracted by a magnet. Let's dig around a bit and see what's up. Pot metal is a general term, and it is applied to cheap, readily available metals with a low melting point that are used to make "trinkets" and other metal objects that are inexpensively produced. Pot ( Full Answer )

Why magnets only attract to metal?

Magnets don't only attract metals, they attract and repel many things, usually you don't notice in everyday life Something that is strongly attracted to a magnet is said to have a high permeability. Iron and steel are two examples of materials with very high permeability, and they are strongly attra ( Full Answer )

Why magnets attract metals?

Actually, they only attract certain metals. The attraction for other metals is insignificant. For example, a magnet will strongly attract iron. The way this works is that the magnet induces magnetism in the iron. The iron has tiny areas - domains, I think they are called - of magnetism; an externa ( Full Answer )

Why don't all metals attract to magnet?

All the metals are not attracted by a magnet as it attracts only ferromagnetic materials. example. Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Gadolinium, Dysprosium.

Are all the coins attracted to magnets?

Noty all coins; only steel and iron are magnetic metals and many current coins are made of aluminum bronze and the rare may be made ofsilver or gold.

Can magnets only attract metal?

Magnets can attract anything with components of iron, cobalt and nickel, these are thus far the only elements that can be attracted to magnets.

What attracts metal to a magnet?

What magnets do is they create a magnetic field , which is a space around the magnet whereenergy is actually changed. Just like the Earth has two poles, sodo magnets. They have north and south poles that change energy indifferent ways.

Why aren't all metals attracted to a magnet?

Ferromagnetic metals are attracted to magnets because they have asingle electron (instead of two) in one of their inner orbitals,this makes each atom a tiny magnet. Nonferromagnetic metals haveall the inner orbitals filled with two electrons.

Do magnets attract all objects?

No, they only strongly attract objects that are ferromagnetic . They react only very weakly withobjects that are either paramagnetic or diamagnetic .

Why some metals are attracted by magnet while some metals are not attracted by magnets what differences them?

Magnetism occurs only in materials where the electrical charge is unevenly distributed, so that there is more positive charge in one part and more negative charge in another part. I n most materials, the electrical charge is distributed uniformly, in a perfectly spherical manner; however, when this ( Full Answer )