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A magnet is a metallic object that attracts other metallic objects towards it e.g lodestone.

Elements which are attracted by magnets are called Magnetic Materials. They include iron, steel, nickel, etc. substances that can be attracted by a magnet are said to be Magnetic and the ability of a magnet to attract magnetic substance is called Magnetism.


The lodestone is the first natural magnet observed over 2000 years ago in China; Iron fillings and nails were attracted by their ends.


Uses of Magnets

  1. They are used in the construction of the pocket compass and the ship compass. 
  2. They are used in the construction of the electric motor, generator, bicycle, dynamo, loudspeaker, radio, and television 

Properties of a Magnet 

A bar magnet attracts small pieces of iron filings. The ends of a bar magnet are regions where the attracting power is the greatest and these ends are called Poles of a Magnet.

Poles of a Magnet
Poles of a Magnet

Magnets have certain important properties and these include;

1. Attractive Property – Magnet attracts ferromagnetic materials like iron, cobalt, and nickel.

2. Repulsive Properties – Like magnetic poles repel each other and unlike magnetic poles attract each other.

3. Directive Property – A freely suspended magnet always points in a north-south direction.



Dip a bar magnet (a bar shaped magnet) into iron fillings.

Describe what you see.


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