15 interesting facts about magnets

Facts about magnets

Despite the fact that the features of magnets have long been known to mankind, their active usage began relatively recently, less than two centuries ago. That’s impossible to imagine any plant without magnets, and they are also used in various household appliances. They are of the utmost importance for the production of a bunch of different items and goods.

Top amazing facts about magnets

  1. Some metals and minerals are not attracted to them, but, on the contrary, repelled. These include zinc, for example.
  2. Magnets in the shape of a horseshoe appeared for a reason. This form allows to bring their poles together and strengthen the magnetism.
  3. Magnetic field of Earth holds our planet’s atmosphere. But Mars has no magnetic field, because its core has cooled, and its atmosphere had been blown away by the solar wind almost entirely.
  4. Some creatures navigate not only by the Sun and the stars, but also by the magnetic field of the Earth. Migrating birds and turtles, for example.
  5. People of Ancient China started to use magnets much earlier than in Westerners. Europeans first saw the magnet when the famous traveler Marco Polo brought it from the Chinese Empire.
  6. If you heat a permanent magnet to a high temperature, it will lose its magnetism and turn into an ordinary piece of metal. Magnetic properties won’t recover even after cooling down.
  7. Magnetic storms can damage electronic devices easily, and and disable them. They occur because of solar flares (check 35 fun facts about Solar System).
  8. The first mention of magnetism is found in the writings of the scientist Thales of Miletus who lived in Ancient Greece in the VI century BC.
  9. Magnetic whiteboards are really popular nowadaysbecause they are very convenient to write. They were invented by a group of US students in 2008.
  10. The research of magnets made it possible to create the world’s fastest trains — maglevs, magnetic levitating trains. They repel from the rail and do not touch it, but slide over it. In China, maglev runs between Shanghai and local airport, reaching a speed of over 250 mph (400 kmph).
  11. In Chinese, the word “magnet” literally means “a loving stone”.
  12. One version of the origin of the word “magnet” goes back to the legend of a shepherd named Magnus, who accidentally discovered that the iron heels on his boots are attracted to the stone.
  13. The main difference between permanent magnets from electric ones is that electric magnets acquire their properties only under the influence of electric current.
  14. Perhaps the most valuable invention for sailors was the magnetic compass invented in the XI century. However, in Ancient China, people came up with a simple analogue of this device in the III century BC.
  15. Due to the statistics, magnets are the most popular Souvenirs bought by tourists.