Magnetizing a metal object with a solenoid, illustration

Magnetizing a metal object with a solenoid, illustration

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Credit: MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Magnetizing a metal object with a solenoid. Illustration of a direct current (DC) power source being used to magnetize a metal object, in this case a saw blade (lower right). A direct current (DC) power source will produce a strong magnetic field in the solenoid (coils of copper wiring), which induces magnetism in certain metal objects (such as iron) placed inside it. Whether the induced magnetism is permanent or temporary depends on the metal used. If an alternating current (AC) power supply is used, this switches rapidly in polarity and randomises the magnetic polarity, removing any existing magnetism from the metal object.

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