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Stephen G Bosi walk not work-related for, consult, very own shares in or receive resources from any agency or company that would advantage from this article, and also has discover no pertinent affiliations beyond their scholastic appointment.

You are watching: When opposite poles of two magnets are brought together, the poles



If friend sprinkle iron filings (a fine powder of iron) around a magnet, you deserve to see picture of the magnetic field. Native www.shutterstock.com

Magnets don’t constantly stick together.

If you host two magnets the wrong way around, they press apart - they repel! In other words, if you hold two magnets together so the like-poles room close together (two norths OR two souths), castle repel. Shot it! it feels choose the magnets room surrounded by one invisible rubber layer advertise them apart. That invisible great is dubbed a magnetic field.


Like-poles repel: We have the right to use curvy arrows (called ar lines) to attract the form of the magnetic field around magnets. The arrows always start at the magnet’s phibìc pole and allude towards its south pole. Once two like-poles suggest together, the arrows indigenous the 2 magnets point in the opposite directions and the ar lines cannot join up. So the magnets will press apart (repel). Photo credit: author provided.

It’s only once you organize unlike-poles together (a phibìc pointing to a south) that magnets stick together (they space attracted). Now, the magnetic ar acts favor a extended rubber band pulling the magnets together. (Be careful; two solid magnets deserve to pinch your skin).


Unlike-poles attract: when a phibìc pole and south pole suggest together, the arrows allude in the very same direction for this reason the field lines deserve to join up and the magnets pull with each other (attract). Photo credit: author provided.

So, why do magnets lure or repel?

You have probably heard of energy. Power is necessary to create movement.

A car that’s sit still will start to move when the petrol inside it burns. That’s since petrol contains stored-up power which is released as soon as it burns.

When this stored-up energy is released, few of it alters into activity energy. Scientists call this stored-up energy “potential energy” and call movement energy “kinetic energy”.

When you start running, it’s since energy stored in your food is released and also some of it alters into motion energy.

What’s this gained to carry out with magnets? Well, the magnetic ar that surrounds all magnets has stored-up energy. However there’s a means to adjust the lot of stored-up power surrounding the magnet. And the way you change it will tell friend which method the magnet will certainly move.

A ascendancy to remember

Everything in the universe follows a rule. I will certainly tell friend the preeminence in a moment, but an initial I need to say the it’s not simple to describe why the universe follows this ascendancy without complex mathematics. The finest I have the right to say is “that’s just exactly how the world behaves”. (I’m sorry. I don’t prefer answers favor that either).

The dominance is: wherever over there is stored-up power in an item (and the object is no tied down or stuck in place), then the object will be propelled in the direction that reasons the stored-up energy to decrease. The stored-up energy will it is in reduced and also replaced by movement energy.

So if two magnets space pointing v unlike-poles with each other (north pole to a southern pole), then bringing castle closer with each other decreases the power stored increase in the magnetic field. They will certainly be thrust in the direction that decreases the quantity of stored-up energy. That is, lock are required together (this is dubbed attraction).

If two magnets space pointing with like-poles with each other (a southern pole come a southern pole OR phibìc to north), then stored-up energy will diminish if they relocate apart.

So our preeminence says the magnets will certainly be thrust in the direction that decreases the amount of stored-up energy. That is, castle are forced apart (repelled).

I should also say that when dropped objects room attracted to Earth and also fall down, that NOT since of magnetism. It’s since of gravity. Planet is also surrounding by a gravitational ar which also contains stored increase energy.

Unlike magnetism, gravity never ever repels due to the fact that gravity only points one way. There space no north and south poles because that gravity.

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Can I keep taking stored-up power from the magnetic field forever?


Once 2 magnets pole together, you’ll should put part stored-up energy back into the ar by pulling the magnets personal again. You can’t get energy for nothing.

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The power needed to traction the magnets apart originates from you, and also you acquire it indigenous the food friend eat. And also the plants or pets you eat gain their power from other plants and animals, or indigenous the Sun. All energy originates from somewhere.

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