Buy magnets. How can we identify the magnetic poles?

In: Applications of magnets On: Hit: 45

There are different ways to identify the magnetic poles of a magnet. We do a review of the best techniques to find each magnetic pole.

Magnetic poles in permanent magnets

Permanent magnets made of magnetic material, such as ferrite, samarium, alnico or neodymium, have a common factor, attracting ferrous materials close to them, although with different intensities. This magnetic effect is based on a fundamental orientation of its elementary magnets, which are also known as dipoles. This orientation of the dipoles, which has already occurred during production, results in a reinforcing effect of the magnetic properties of a permanent magnet. Each elementary dipole already consists of a north pole and a south pole. The uniformly ordered alignment of all the dipoles not only reinforces the magnetism, but gives the complete permanent magnet at least one north pole and one south pole.

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Neodymium block, permanent magnets in general and the identification of its north and south poles

The simplest method to identify the magnetic poles is possible with a neodymium block, already familiar with the location of its north and south poles. Move the north pole of the bar magnet identified to the permanent magnet to be identified. The point attracted by the bar magnet is the south pole of the unknown permanent magnet, because the poles, unlike the permanent magnets, always attract each other. On the other hand, the poles of the same name are separated from the permanent magnets.

Another possibility of identification is possible with a compass. Its magnetic needle also has a north pole and a south pole. If you now bring the compass closer to the magnet you are going to test and turn this unknown magnet in different directions, there will be a time when the north tip of the magnetic needle will deflect and tighten. This point is then the south pole of the unknown magnet. The opposite side of this point is, logically, the north pole.

Also, if we do not have a compass or a defined neodymium block, you can hang the magnet to test it on a long, thin thread horizontally. However, it is important that you know the instructions from the place where this test is performed. The magnet suspended in the thread will take a certain direction after a certain time of rotation by rotating around the axis of the thread. Near the Geographic North Pole of the Earth is its magnetic South Pole. The location of the hanging magnet that points to the geographic North Pole of the Earth is the magnetic north pole of the permanent magnet to be tested.

There is also a variant of the position verification for the determination of the magnetic pole. One fills a larger glass with water and lets a flat piece of wood float on the surface of the water, on which the permanent magnet to be tested is placed. Again, the floating permanent magnet will rotate a bit and take, after a certain time, a very specific direction in which it will then rest. The side of the floating permanent magnet that points to the geographic North Pole of the Earth is the magnetic north pole of the permanent magnet.


Additional information about permanent magnets and their magnetic poles

If you want or need to buy magnets, you need a lot of basic information and knowledge about permanent magnets and their properties. Depending on the specific application, for which one or more permanent magnets are needed, the required properties of the permanent magnet or magnets can be very different. This is especially true for neodymium block magnets, which have the strongest magnetic properties.

For you as a permanent magnet user, we are always at your disposal with our competence of specialists who will help you and give you the best advice. If you want to buy magnets, contact us at any time.



In almost all areas of daily life, permanent magnets are needed and installed. This applies to both the private sector and the industrial sector. Permanent magnets for refrigerator doors or in alarm systems for public buildings or loudspeakers are just some possible examples of many other applications.


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