In details

The magnets


Magnetism has been known for about 2500 years. In a region called Magnesia in ancient Greece (this region is now part of Turkey), a rock with the power to attract pieces of iron was found.

The ancient Greeks gave it the name of magnetite (a type of iron ore).


Magnetite is now better known as magnet stone or simply magnet.

Magnetic forces

Experiments have shown that the magnet has the property of attracting certain materials. This property is called magnetism.

The magnetic force of the magnet acts on certain metals such as iron, nickel and cobalt, that is, on materials called ferromagnetic. Not all metals are ferromagnetic. Olympic medal metals such as gold, silver and copper are not attracted to magnets.

By placing the sheet of paper with iron filings on the magnet, the area of ​​influence of this magnet is represented on it.

The ends of the magnet - regions where magnetic forces act more intensely - they are called poles. The existence of these poles is one of the important characteristics of magnets.

The magnet always has two poles.

If we break it into two parts, each one will again have two poles. Therefore, we will never be able to isolate one of the magnet's poles.


Being able to move freely, a magnet aligns with the North-South geographical direction.

It was agreed that the part of the magnet that points to the geographical north of the Earth would be called magnet north pole. Usually this part is painted red. The other part is the South pole magnet.

With this basic knowledge, the Chinese created the compass, which since the 11th century has been used to guide navigators and pilots.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the time of the great navigations, the compass played a fundamental role in guiding the hitherto unknown seas.