|How long does it take for a magnet to lose its
|Question Date: 2004-01-15|
It really depends on the temperature. I
"power" you refer to the ability of the magnet to
attract (for example) an iron nail. The more
accurate term is magnetization.
How long a magnet
takes to lose its magnetization is a function of
what the magnetic materials is made up of, and how
high a temperature you heat it too. At high
temperatures, any magnet will lose its
magnetization rather quickly (in a matter of
minutes, if the temperature is high).
Magnets stay magnetized until something
destabilizes them. The constant jostling of
molecules (i.e. heat) slowly disorganizes the
magnetic domains in a magnet, and this happens
faster the hotter the magnet.
magnet will align itself to any pre-existing
magnetic field, such as that of the earth. I
don't know how long it would take for a magnet on
your refrigerator to demagnetize - probably longer
than a human lifetime.
Thanks for asking.
This is a really great question. It would make
sense that a magnet would operate like a battery
and would run out of power. Actually, it turns
out that magnets don't operate like batteries. A
magnet works by the atoms lining up in a piece of
iron or steel. When the atoms are aligned, north
and south poles are created, resulting in
magnetism. The way in which an atom looses
is when the atoms come out of alignment.
happen when a magnet is dropped. Therefore, a
magnet will not ever loose its power unless it is
dropped or experiences some other force which
misaligns the atoms. I hope this helps.
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