MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Testing iron for magnetic properties. Bar magnet (right) being used to test a watch-glass of iron filings (black) for magnetism. Only certain materials (such as iron, steel and other metals) have the electronic and molecular structure needed for magnetism to be present. As seen by the attraction displayed here, iron is a magnetic material. The iron filings have become magnetised and are aligning with the magnetic field and moving towards the bar magnet. Magnetism is a stronger force than gravity, and a relatively small magnetic field can overcome the weight of the iron filings and pull them upwards from the watch-glass.
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