How do magnets attract?
Magnets attract some metal objects, like metal paper clips. How do magnets attract metals? When you bring a magnet near some metal objects, the metal objects actually become magnets. Here’s how:
- Magnets are made of metals. Metals are made of tiny particles. These particles are like tiny magnets. Inside a magnet, these tiny magnetic particles are all lined up. All the north poles face one direction. All the south poles face the other.
- Magnets attract certain metals, such as iron, nickel, and cobalt. If a metal is not a magnet, the metal still has tiny magnetic particles inside. However, they are not lined up. North poles and south poles are facing many different directions.
- Bring a bar magnet or any other permanent magnet near a piece of iron, nickel, or cobalt. The tiny magnetic particles turn around and line up. The metal becomes a temporary magnet. This temporary magnet attracts the bar magnet.
- Take the permanent magnet away from the piece of metal. Usually, the tiny particles move around and face many directions again.