Physics » Magnetism and Faraday's Law » Permanent Magnets

Ferromagnetism and Retentivity


Ferromagnetism is a phenomenon shown by materials like iron, nickel or cobalt. These materials can form permanent magnets. They always magnetise so as to be attracted to a magnet, no matter which magnetic pole is brought toward the unmagnetised iron/nickel/cobalt.

Retentivity and Magnetic Materials

The ability of a ferromagnetic material to retain its magnetisation after an external field is removed is called its retentivity.

Paramagnetic materials are materials like aluminium or platinum, which become magnetised in an external magnetic field in a similar way to ferromagnetic materials. However, they lose their magnetism when the external magnetic field is removed.

Diamagnetism is shown by materials like copper or bismuth, which become magnetised in a magnetic field with a polarity opposite to the external magnetic field. Unlike iron, they are slightly repelled by a magnet.

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