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How Magnetism Threw Its Shadow Throughout Ancient Times

By Guest

Magnetism constitutes one of the initial natural forces that humans ever found, however, it was just recently that the complete usage of magnetism has been understood and practiced upon. Several devise and technologies have magnetism principles behind them, so much so that our univetse appears to be imperfect without them. For instance, if you go for an ipod repair or an iphone repair then very certainly it is electromagnetism that powers these gadgets. Have a look at some of the intriguing facts and accounts on magnetism that have been gathered through ancient times.

You may be thinking how magnets were really discovered. Myth has it that a shepherd called Magnes who used to exist some 4,000 years before got his shoes attached to a rock that comprised of nails that got pulled to a rock named magnetite. Without much knowledge of the phenomenon at that time, it was thought that the rock had magical powers.

Archimedes, a scientist of ancient Greece, is thought to have attracted the nails out of enemy ships by a magnet which ended in the sinking of all the enemy ships. It was Archimedes who understood the importance of magnetism. Besides, magnets have been used throughout history for navigation reasons by sailors. They found that a piece of magnet balanced by a thread will every time align in the North-South orientation. This is what led to the discovery of compasses. This is why magnetite was known as the leading stone as it helped in orientation.

At times, you will find that magnets are made of steel or iron. However, powerful magnets can be manufactured by alloys of metals including iron, nickel, copper, cobalt, etc. In older times, hammering alongwith heating a fragment of steel or iron in the north-south orientation was used as a means to magnetize them. With this technique, the molecules have aligned themselves in the north-south direction. Magnets are not only stones seen on our earth, but the whole of earth itself behaves as a magnet. Earth is a magnet that even comprises of the North and South Pole. When you place a non-magnetic material in a North to South orientation, it results in magnetizing it. This occurs due to the availability of a magnetic field surrounding the earth and the molecules get sufficient time to get assembled in the North-South direction.

The question is; what makes the earth to change into a magnet? It is believed that this magnetic force of the earth comes from a fluid in the core of the earth that causes the earth to turn in to a gigantic electromagnet. It’s basically the stream of liquid metal that produces electrical flow, and a magnetic field is generated as a result of this current. Yet, the puzzling part is explaining the source of the magnetic field that initiated it all in the first place. There is a theory that the strong magnetic field from the sun was the reason to initiate the process when earth was created. But, we can’t say this for sure. Whatever means it began, it is really a marvel of nature.

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MLA Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "How Magnetism Threw Its Shadow Throughout Ancient Times." How Magnetism Threw Its Shadow Throughout Ancient Times. 17 Aug. 2010. 26 Jun 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Guest, G (2010, August 17). How Magnetism Threw Its Shadow Throughout Ancient Times. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "How Magnetism Threw Its Shadow Throughout Ancient Times"

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