Experiment 3

Are Magnets Attracted To Objects Other

Than Magnets and Refrigerators?

Materials Needed:

Take a magnet, any magnet and bring it close to a variety of items, such as buttons, pencils, crayons, paper, leaves, plastics and metals, chairs, needles, nails, coins, and refrigerator.

Most people think that non-metal objects would not be attracted to magnets, but did all the metals objects you used attract? Only some metal elements can be attracted to magnets which is called ferromagnetic. Some examples are iron, cobalt and nickel.

Try this:

Hold the dollar by a corner and slowly bring close to the dollar a neodymium magnet. (picture 1 goes here). Did it attract? If it didn't attract was because most likely your dollar bill is counterfeit (counterfeit means not real). The ink in a real U.S dollar bill contains ferromagnetic material that can be detected by your strong neodymium magnet. This is one way to check if your dollar bills are counterfeit. Try the same thing using your other magnets and see if you get the same results.

Take a 5 cent nickel and try to pick it up with your magnets. Did it work? If it didn't work was because the 5 cent didn't have enough nickel in it. In fact, there is enough ferromagnetic material in a 5 cent to slightly attract to a magnet, but there is not enough to pick it up. Try to suspend the neodymium magnet from a string and slowly bring close a 5 cent. What were the results? Try it with a quarter and a penny. I f you did try it with a penny you have noticed that a penny does not have much effect on the magnet.

Now, tape the neodymium magnet from a table, pull it to the side and let it go. How many times does it swing before it stops? Now place 5 pennies under the rest position of the neodymium magnet. The magnet and pennies should be close to each other but not touching (pic 2 should go here). Pull the magnet to the side and let go. What happen? Try to do the same thing with other materials that are not normally attracted. What did you discover? What is happening is that the stack of pennies and the swinging magnet are acting like a tiny electrical generator that is forcing the electrons in the pennies to move around in little circles. The motion of the electrons goes into heating the pennies which takes energy from the motion of the magnet and bring the magnet to a stop.