Is Magnetism a Form of Energy?
Is Magnetism a Form of Energy?
Magnetism is a force which attracts or repels certain materials, such as iron. This effect is produced by electric charges moving within an atom's structure; electrons moving around.
Magnetic behavior of materials depends on whether their atoms possess equal or opposite magnetic moments, or parallel ones; only then can the substance act like a magnet.
Magnetism, as a physical phenomenon, arises from the motion of electric charge. That motion then creates a magnetic field which exerts force against other moving charges - but is magnetic energy considered an energy form? Absolutely; like all forms of energy in physics, magnetic fields also contain both potential energy (for instance stored energy like compressed springs or rock at top of hill) as well as kinetic energy produced when something like cars move or balls are kicked around).
Magnetism can also be defined as electromagnetic energy, the form of energy that radiates from objects like radio waves, light waves and electricity. Electromagnetic energy carries information - from sound played over telephone lines or projected onto television screens to telephone caller information or television programs being shown live.
But can magnetism really be seen as a form of energy that can be transferred between objects? Yes, provided they possess identical configurations of magnetic field lines - otherwise the magnetic fields will cancel each other out and no energy will be exchanged between objects.
Magnetism can be found most commonly in ferromagnetic materials like iron, cobalt and nickel atoms. These substances generate magnetic forces at rest as more electrons have the same spin direction than opposite spin, creating what is called magnetic moments which act like miniature magnets.
Electromagnetic energy can also be generated through currents running through wires or other conductors, with moving electrons creating a magnetic field which affects other charged particles, such as those within neighboring atoms - this process is known as electromagnetic induction.
Permanent magnets may contain magnetic energy as well, although this kind of magnetism is fairly uncommon. Permanent magnets typically possess lower energy levels than other states of matter due to how as the magnetic domains rotate around a magnet they move toward those states with different orientations for their magnetism; this movement toward lower energy states doesn't need to happen to transfer energy; it simply maximizes entropy.
Magnetism was first observed by ancient Greeks using lodestones crafted of magnetite mineral lodestones - natural magnets made up of iron mineral magnetite. This ancient magnetic mineral was known as magnetis lithos or "Magnesian stone," and Thales of Miletus conducted experiments relating to its properties sometime between 625 BCE to 545 BCE. Chinese physicians wrote of using magnets for medical use during the fourth century BCE while Indian surgeon Sushruta used them in surgery around 600 BCE.
Magnetism powers our electricity today, from computers and phones to toasters. High voltage electricity lines transport it to transformer stations where magnetic fields induced by electrons moving through conducting material reduce its frequency into an usable 110-volt voltage before it is distributed throughout homes where magnetism works its magic in alarm clocks, hair dryers and refrigerators.