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  • Writer's pictureSTEM Medley

All about Magnetism!

What is Magnetism?

  • People have known about magnets for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks and Romans understood that Lodestone, an iron- rich material can attract other parts of Iron.

  • Magnetism is a force practised by certain metals. The force is applied by magnets when they attract or repel each other.

  • All magnets have north and south poles. Opposite sides are attracted to each other whereas same sides repel each other. The force produced by opposite atoms creates a magnetic field.


What's a compass got to do with Magnetism?

The Earth is a magnet that can interact with other magnets. All magnets have a North and South pole. The North and South are attracted to each other.

The small magnetic pin is suspended so it can move freely and respond to Earth’s magnetic field. It points north because it lines up with Earth’s lines of magnetic force. The geographic poles are located at the very top and bottom of a globe.

A compass may not be reliable because there are many interferences such as, a Compass points to the magnetic North Pole, not the geographic North Pole. Therefore, a compass user has to make changes to find the true north.


Who's Emile Bachelet?

  • Emile Bachelet was born on 30th January 1863 in France.

  • He emigrated to the United States in the 1880s where he worked as an electrician. He revealed the qualities of magnetic field when working with arthritis patients.

  • Bachelet created a Levitating Transmitting apparatus which for he was awarded a patent. His device was meant to transfer mail and packages on a cart that was levitated over a track of magnets.

  • Bachelet was successful in early 1914 with a prototype that he presented in exhibition in London and managed to attract financial support to continue his research.

  • Emile Bachelet was probably too far ahead of his time because construction of electrical locomotives had not even begun.

To read more about how magnetism is used in everyday life

Please read my post How bullet trains float?

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