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Magnetic and Non-magnetic Materials

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Magnetic and Non-magnetic Materials - Lesson Summary

A Greek shepherd named Magnes discovered magnets 4,000 years ago in Magnesia, Greece. Magnes discovered a natural magnetic rock, called the lodestone. In the form of a bar, it was used to find directions on the earth, and so the name lodestone, which means the stone that leads.  Lodestone has a compound of iron called magnetite. The name magnetite has been derived from Magnesia or Magnes. Magnets are named after magnetite. Natural rocks that have the property of attracting iron are called natural magnets. Archimedes, the ancient Greek scientist, is believed to have used lodestone to pull nails from enemy ships, which made the ships sink.

Magnetic Materials
Materials that are attracted by a magnet are called magnetic materials. Examples of magnetic materials include iron, cobalt, nickel, steel, etc.

Non-Magnetic Materials
Materials that are not attracted by magnets are called non-magnetic materials.  Examples of non-magnetic materials include rubber, plastic, stainless steel, feather, paper, mica, gold, silver, leather, etc. Modern coins are made of uniform mixtures of different metals in such a way that they become non-magnetic.

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