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The Anatomy of a Magnet
Magnets are objects that attract items made of certain types of metals. All magnets have two poles that emit opposing forces. The ends of a magnet are called the north-seeking pole and the south-seeking pole. They got these names because, when suspended on a string or immersed in water, the north-seeking pole will point toward the Earth's North Pole, while the south-seeking pole will point toward the Earth's South Pole. One unusual fact about magnets is that if, for instance, a bar magnet is cut in half, each piece will still retain its north and south pole charges.
The Attraction of Charges
Opposite poles of a magnet attract each other, whereas like poles repel each other. When lined up with a south-seeking pole, a north-seeking pole would draw closer to that end of the magnet. However, when lined up with another north-seeking pole, the two magnets would push away from each other because their forces are not compatible.
Why Do Like Poles Repel?
The north-seeking and south-seeking poles on a magnet create a circular magnetic field that runs between them. When an opposite pole is introduced to that magnetic field, it is accepted because it doesn't interrupt the field. However, when a like pole is introduced, it is rejected because it would interrupt the magnetic field. A north-seeking pole cannot create a magnetic field with another north-seeking pole, so it pushes like poles away while drawing differing poles in.
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