Course: Science Subtest I
Lesson: Electricity and Magnetism
Topic: Magnetism      Page 7 of 17  

What is a magnet?

A magnet is an object that produces a magnetic field outside itself. The magnetic field (or force field) is the region of space where iron and other materials are attracted to the magnet. When magnetic objects are in a magnetic field, they experience a force (a push or a pull).

Magnets may be cut from metal, or iron powder may be mixed with plastic. They are magnetized (given a magnetic field) by heating them up and exposing them to a magnetic field as they cool.

Did you know?
  • The word "magnet" comes from Magnesia in Greece, where naturally occurring magnetic iron ores or lodestones are found.

Magnets come in a wide variety of shapes, including horseshoes, bars, discs, balls and rings. No matter their shape, all magnets have north and south poles.