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Fun with Magnets: Force and Poles of a magnet

Aug 19, 2022
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Key Concepts

  • Magnetism
  • Poles of magnet
  • Forces between magnets

Introduction: 

The pushing and pulling forces are applied on various objects by other object when they come in contact with each other. However, the gravitational force is exerted by the Earth on other bodies even when it is not in contact with those objects. Just like gravitational force, magnetic force also does not require the objects to be in contact with each other. In this section we will be looking at the force of magnetism. 

Explanation: 

Magnetism: 

A magnet pulls the iron nails towards itself. It applies a pulling force on the iron nails even when it is not in contact with them. This force that the magnet applies on the iron nails is called magnetism. Magnets pull objects made of or that contain iron, towards themselves. The objects which are not attracted towards a magnet do not contain iron in them.  

A magnet attracting iron nails

Poles of a magnet: 

The objects mostly stick to the ends of a bar magnet. This is because at the ends the magnetism of a bar magnet is the strongest. These points where the magnetism of a magnet is the strongest are called the poles of a magnet

Poles of a magnet 1
Poles of a magnet 2
Poles of a magnet 3

There are two poles of a magnet, i.e., the north pole and the south pole which are marked as “N” and “S” respectively. 

parallel

The north pole of a magnet points towards the Earth’s north direction and its south pole points in the Earth’s south direction. 

North poles and south poles are called unlike poles

North and north poles, and south and south poles are called like poles.  

Forces between magnets: 

Like poles repel or push away from each other. Whereas the unlike poles attract or pull together. Thus, magnetism can be either a pulling or a pushing force. The push gets stronger as the like poles get closer to each other. The pull gets stronger as the unlike poles get closer to each other. 

Forces between magnets 

parallel

Questions and answers: 

Which of the following objects get attracted by a magnet? 

  1. A bed tray 
  1. The surface of a fridge 
  1. Brick 
  1. Wrench 
  1. Hammer head 
  1. The wooden handle of the hammer 
  1. Slippers  

Answer: 

The following objects get attracted by a magnet. 

  1. The surface of a fridge 
  1. Wrench 
  1. Hammer head 

The rest of the objects do not get affected by the presence of a magnet. 

Summary

  1. Magnets pull objects made of or contain iron towards themselves. They exert a pulling force on such objects called magnetism.
  2. The objects which are not attracted towards a magnet do not contain iron in them.
  3. The points where the magnetism of a magnet is the strongest are called the poles of a magnet.
  4. There are two poles of a magnet i.e., the north pole and the south pole which are markedas “N” and “S” respectively.
  1. The north pole of a magnet points towards the Earth’s north direction and its south pole points in the Earth’s south direction.
  2. Like poles repel or push away from each other. Whereas the unlike poles attract or pull together.
  3. Magnetism can be either a pulling or a pushing force.
  4. The push and pull get stronger as the like and unlike poles get closer to each other respectively.

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