Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fun with Magnetism!

I hope you are all reading and learning all you can about magnets and magnetism!  Each of you will do a class presentation this week to help all of us learn even more about magnets.

Magnets are SUPER FUN to play with, so I thought I would link up another fun site with some online magnet games.  CLICK HERE to link over to the magnet games. 

The rule of magnetism- "Like poles repel. Unlike poles attract."

It is believed that the earth's magnet power comes from a current in the liquid center of the Earth causing it to become a gigantic electromagnet!

Here are some FUN FACTS about magnets:
  • -the earth's magnetic field is like a bar magnet at the center
  • -usually made of iron or steel-iron, nickel, cobalt
  • -can be any shape
  • -a magnets pull is strongest at two points-north and south poles
  • -the first magnets were stones called Iodestones. The word lode means lead. The stone magnetized compass needles and helped bring sailors home.
  • -the earth is a giant magnet
  • -earth magnets are powerful and made from rare elements
  • -some vets use magnets to retrieve wire and metal from animals stomachs
  • -there are different types of magnets: permanent/hard, temporary/soft, electromagnets
  • -the compass was used hundreds of years ago by Chinese sailors
  • -superconductors are the strongest magnets-made from coils of wire
  • -magnet is made up of crystals
So, you may wonder how magnets were discovered. Well, there are legends that tell of a sheperd named Magnes some 4,000 year ago got his foot stuck to a rock because of the nails in his shoes. They called the rock magnetite.

The legend and folklore grew about magnetite and it was thought to have magical powers. It was thought to heal and frighten evil spirits. It was also thought to attract and dissolve ships made of iron! It was discovered that it attracted objects made of iron.  When it was discovered that it always pointed in a north-south direction it became a primitive compass and they called it a "leading stone."

Magnetite is a magnetic molecular structure found in the earth on the oceans floor. It is anywhere from 2 to 55 million years old!  Earth magnets can be 20 times more powerful than a fridge magnet! These types of magnets have led to deaths and injuries in children from toys. The children eat them!

These are some fun facts about magnets. It seems the earth is one big magnet in itself which is odd. Magnets are definitely useful in our world as long as they are not ingested!

Now CLICK HERE for some Science "Snacks" about magnetism :)

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