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Magnetic Materials and Electric Currents

Have you ever had or played with a magnet? Maybe you have one or two on your refrigerator right now.

But what do you know about those magnets?

You might have heard that magnets have two ends: a "north" end and a "south" end. You may also know that magnets attract things made of iron, nickel or steel but do not attract other materials like cloth or rubber.

Magnets follow a familiar rule that you might recall: Opposites attract and likes repel. Just like two positive charges repel, so will two north ends or two south ends of a magnet. And just like a positive and a negative charge attract one another, so will a north and a south end of a magnet.

A magnet is any object that has a magnetic field. This takes us to our next question, of course. What is a magnetic field?