Picking up paper clips with a magnetized object

Picking up paper clips with a magnetized object

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Credit: MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Picking up paper clips with a magnetized object. Illustration of the use of a magnetized metal object to attract and pick up steel paper clips. The saw blade held in the experimenter's hand is made of a suitable metal such as iron or steel, and has been magnetized. Whether the magnetism is permanent or temporary depends on the metal used. Once magnetized, the saw blade can be used to magnetize other objects, as shown here. Once the paper clips have been magnetized, they are then magnetically attracted to the saw blade. The strength of the saw blade's magnetic field overcomes the weight of the paper clips, and they align with and are attracted towards the saw blade. Powerful magnets can be used in this way to extract metal objects from mixed waste.

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