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Magnetism is a force of attraction or replusion that acts at a distance. It is due to a magnetic field, which is caused by moving electrically charged particles or is inherent in magnetic objects such as a magnet. Magnetism is a property of materials that respond at the atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field.
A magnet is an object that exhibits a strong magnetic field and will attract materials like iron to it. Magnets have two poles, called the north (N) and south (S) poles. Two magnets will be attacted by their opposite poles, and each will repel the like pole of the other magnet.
Until 1820, the only magnetism known was that of iron magnets and of "lodestones", natural magnets of iron-rich ore. It was believed that the inside of the Earth was magnetized in the same fashion, and scientists were greatly puzzled when they found that the direction of the compass needle at any place slowly shifted, decade by decade, suggesting a slow variation of the Earth's magnetic field.
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Magnetism has many uses in modern life. We use magnetism every, but some people never know.
Beiser, A. (1988).
Physical Science (2nd Edition)
. New York, NY: McGraw Hill
"What Can Magnets Do?", Jennings, Terry
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