How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 865

How does heat affect magnetism? — MC, Capitol Heights, MD
The magnetism we associate with a permanent magnet or with steel's response to that permanent magnet involves the careful ordering of tiny magnetic electrons within the materials. Just as heat tends to destroy all forms of order in a newspaper when you put it in the fire, so heat tends to destroy the magnetic order in a permanent magnet or in steel when you bake them. Many permanent magnets lose their magnetism when heated to oven temperatures and even steel becomes non-magnetic when heated red-hot.

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