How is Earth like a magnet?

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asked Jan 24 in Science by noahpaul (710 points)
How is Earth like a magnet?

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answered Jan 25 by 1982tiperman (5,590 points)
Earth is like a magnet as earth has magnetic fields.

The crust of the Earth has some permanent magnetization, and the Earth's core generates its own magnetic field, sustaining the main part of the field we measure at the surface.

So we could say that the Earth is, therefore, a "magnet."

Earth's magnetic field is mostly caused by electric currents in the liquid outer core, which is composed of conductive, molten iron.

From afar, the Earth looks like a big magnet with a north and south pole like any other magnet.

Magnets don't last forever although magnets do last for a very long time as in over a thousand years before they wear out.

Magnets do eventually wear out but it takes 700 years or so for a magnet to wear out partially and then another 700 years or more for the magnet to wear out fully.

Magnets do eventually run out and lose magnetism but it take around 700 years for a magnet to lose half of it's strength.

To lose full magnetism and completely run out it would take around 1400 years.

So in several peoples lifetimes the magnet would not run out.

A magnet has two ends, called poles.

If you hold two magnets in your hands, the north pole of one magnet will always attract the south pole of another.

Opposite poles push each other away.

Because our planet is like a big magnet, it also has a magnetic field.

The force of a magnetic field on a particle with spin causes the particle to rotate it's spin to align with the magnetic field.

Taking these two ideas together, then, the Earth's magnetic field will cause the magnet to align north to south.

That's why people named them the north and south poles.

Magnets do work in space.

Incredibly, magnetism is everywhere in the cosmos: planets, stars, gaseous nebulae, entire galaxies and the overall universe are all magnetic.

Just like for the Earth, the Milky Way's magnetism is produced by electrical currents.

Unlike a lot of other items you might bring to space that need additional tools or equipment to function, a magnet will work without any extra help.

Magnets don't need gravity or air. Instead, their power comes from the electromagnetic field they generate all by themselves.

Magnets can lose their magnetism when dropped because when a magnet is dropped the domains of the magnet can reorientate when energy is imparted to the magnet when it's dropped or struck sharply.

Moving magnetic fields pull and push electrons.

Metals such as copper and aluminum have electrons that are loosely held.

Moving a magnet around a coil of wire, or moving a coil of wire around a magnet, pushes the electrons in the wire and creates an electrical current.

Demagnetized means the magnet has lost it's magnetism and cannot any longer attract metals.

Several things such can cause a magnet to become demagnetized.

Oxygen and moisture absorption, corrosion.

Magnet damage resulting from mishandling, impact, or excessive vibration.

Magnet wear from abrasive product types and/or high-tonnage lines.

Operating temperatures and thermal shock.

If you hit a magnet with a hammer it could lose it's magnetism if you don't break it into pieces.

Magnets can lose their domain alignment if struck with a hammer or heated to very high temperature.

The vibration to the atoms caused by the blow can cause the domains to randomly align.

It is also possible to demagnetize a magnet by hitting the ends of the magnet with a hammer, which will alter the order of the magnet.

Magnets should basically last for hundreds of years without losing magnetism.

A magnet may lose around 1 percent of it's magnetism over 100 years.

For example, it is estimated that a neodymium magnet loses approximately 5% of its magnetism every 100 years.

Magnetism is caused by motion of electrical charges.

The source of magnetism is the electric charges.

The movement of the electric charge causes magnetism. Substances are made from tiny atoms.

These atoms have protons, electrons and neutrons.

Every substance is made up of tiny units called atoms.

Each atom has electrons, particles that carry electric charges.

To become magnetized, another strongly magnetic substance must enter the magnetic field of an existing magnet.

Magnets can produce electricity.

Moving a magnet around a coil of wire, or moving a coil of wire around a magnet, pushes the electrons in the wire and creates an electrical current.

Electrical generators work through magnetism to create electricity.

Although the rotor and stator that has copper wire on it to create magnetism need a source of energy such as steam, gas engine etc to turn the rotor to make the electricity.

Whenever you bring coils and magnets together (in the proper orientation and moving with respect to each other), magic happens.

 In this case, it is the Edisonian magic of lighting a light bulb.

Turning the crank rotates a coil inside of the large U-shaped magnets.

Electric generators work on the principle of electromagnetic induction.

A conductor coil (a copper coil tightly wound onto a metal core) is rotated rapidly between the poles of a horseshoe type magnet.

The magnetic field will interfere with the electrons in the conductor to induce a flow of electric current inside it.

Electromagnetic or magnetic induction is the production of an electromotive force across an electrical conductor in a changing magnetic field.

Michael Faraday is generally credited with the discovery of induction in 1831, and James Clerk Maxwell mathematically described it as Faraday's law of induction.

Today, electromagnetic induction is used to power many electrical devices.

One of the most widely known uses is in electrical generators (such as hydroelectric dams) where mechanical power is used to move a magnetic field past coils of wire to generate voltage.

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