Demagnetizing a Magnet
Magnets attract most metals. An item is magnetic if metals stick to it. The particles in a magnet line up with the south and north ends that are aligned with the planet’s magnetic pole. The alignment results in the magnetic field. This field is the space around the magnet where the forces function. Removing a magnet’s ability to attract metals is possible.
What you need:
- A ruler
- A stapler with staples
- A strong magnet
- A freezer
- Four long and thin iron nails
- A hammer
- A flat working surface
- A roll of duct or masking tape
- A magnetic compass
- A hot mitt
- A cookie sheet
- An oven
How you do it:
- Create weak magnets from the long nails. Do this by getting your magnet and running it from below the nail head to its tip. Lift the magnet up and repeat it for three minutes.
- Take out some staple wires and test your magnetized nails on them. If the nails cannot pick the staple wires up, continue to magnetize them.
- Place one magnetized nail on the freezer for at least one hour.
- Place another magnetized nail on a cookie sheet. Place the sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
- Test the rest of the nails with a compass. The needle of the compass should point north on its own. Once you place a magnetized nail near the compass, the needle should point east or west.
- Tape the nail to a flat work surface and remove the compass.
- Hit the nail 20 times.
- Test how magnetized the nail by seeing how many staple wires it can pick up.
- The needle will point north if you place another needle on the surface.
- Tape down the long nail. Remove the compass.
- Remove the nails from the oven and freezer. Test how magnetic they are.
- Record the results.
The hammered nails became less magnetic. The one hammered while pointing to the east before hammering it became less magnetic than the one that pointed to the north. The heated nail lost much of its magnetism. The frozen nail did not lose its magnetism at all. The kinetic energy in the heated nails increased. This freed the atoms to move about. The atomic arrangement became chaotic after heating. That is why it lost its magnetism.