Many of the basic concepts of magnetism are similar to those of electrostatics.

  • All the magnets have two types of poles: north-seeking poles or north poles and south-seeking poles or south poles. Magnetic properties are concentrated at the poles.
  • When a bar magnet is horizontally and freely suspended, it always comes to rest in a north-south direction. North pole of the magnet points to the North Pole of the Earth.
  • Like poles repel, unlike poles attract. (just as like charges repel and unlike charges attract).
  • Magnets attract magnetic materials such as iron, steel, cobalt and nickel.
  • The stronger the poles, the larger will be the attractive or repulsive force between them. Also, the closer together they are, the greater is the force.



  • All magnets have a north and south poles. Cutting a bar magnet in half simply produces two smaller magnets, each with its on north and south poles.
  • Only magnets can be made to repel each other. Otherwise, the magnets will attract all other magnetic materials.
  • The Earth has a giant magnet, its axis is oriented more or less in the direction of the Earth’s rotation. The North pole of the Earth is actually the south pole of the Earth’s magnet.


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