Magnetism

Magnetism is the area of ​​Physics that studies phenomena related to the properties of magnets.

Magnets are materials with magnetic properties.

Magnetism is the name given to the studies of phenomena related to the properties of magnets. The first magnetic phenomena were observed in ancient Greece, in a city called Magnesia.

The first studies carried out in this area were carried out in the 6th century BC by Thales of Miletus, who observed the ability of some pebbles, which today are called magnetite, to attract each other and also to iron.

The first practical application of magnetism was found by the Chinese: the compass, which is based on the interaction of the magnetic field of a magnet (the compass needle) with the earth’s magnetic field. In the sixth century, the Chinese already dominated the manufacture of magnets.

Studies on magnetism only gained strength from the 13th century onwards, when some work and observations were made on electricity and magnetism, which were still considered completely different phenomena. This theory was accepted until the 19th century.

Experimental studies in the area were carried out by Europeans. Pierre Pelerin de Maricourt, in 1269, described a large number of experiments on magnetism. The names of the North Pole and South Pole to the ends of the magnet are due to him, as well as the discovery that the compass needle pointed exactly to the geographic north of the Earth.

The great revolution in the study of magnetism was made by Oesterd in 1820. He discovered that electrical and magnetic phenomena are interrelated. According to this theory, called electromagnetism, moving electric charges generate a magnetic field, and a moving magnetic field generates an electric current. These studies were completed by Maxwell, who established solid theoretical foundations on the relationship between the electric and magnetic fields, that is, electromagnetic waves.

It was from then on that the invention and improvement of various instruments that are present in our daily lives became possible, such as the electric motor, magnetic cards, the production of energy in hydroelectric plants, radio and television waves, telecommunication devices, etc. .

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