What is Magnetism?

Magnetism is an invisible force that attracts or repels certain objects. Magnets attract or repel things made out of iron, nickel, and cobalt. Objects are magnetic because the electrons, which spin around an atom’s nucleus, are spinning in the same direction (they are all lined up). The spinning electrons create an invisible magnetic field, which can attract certain types of metal. The atoms in metals are lined up in the same direction, which means that the metals can stick to magnets. Magnets have 2 poles: a North and South pole. Like poles repel and unlike poles attract each other. Let’s take a look at the magnetic fields of attracting and repelling magnets!

Look at the picture on the left. We see two bar magnets. These magnets will attract each other because opposite poles attract. The magnetic field lines can tell us whether a magnet will attract or repel another magnet. When you look at the border between the two magnets, the magnetic fields are overlapping. That means that the magnets will attract each other.

Look at the picture on the right. The magnets are now repelling each other. There is a gap between magnetic fields. That is the repelling force of the magnets.