Course: Science Subtest I
Lesson: Electricity and Magnetism
Topic: Magnetism      Page 9 of 17  

What materials do magnets attract?

As students can discover from simple experiments, magnets attract some, but not all, metallic objects.

Magnets attract two types of materials: those that are strongly magnetic (called ferromagnetic) and those that are weakly magnetic (called paramagnetic). They have no attraction for diamagnetic materials.

In the classroom, both paramagnetic and diamagnetic materials appear to be simply non-magnetic. Sensitive instruments are needed to tell the difference.

Did you know?
  • A very strong kind of magnet called a rare-earth magnet will attract a dollar bill! The ink contains iron.