MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Common ferrous metal objects. From left: steel can, iron horseshoe, iron horseshoe magnet, and a selection of steel nails, screws and fixings in the background. Ferrous is the term used to indicate the presence of iron. Steel is an alloy consisting of iron and carbon in varying amounts. All ferrous metals exhibit ferromagnetism, the basic mechanism by which certain materials form permanent magnets and/or exhibit strong interactions with magnets. Ferromagnetism is responsible for most occurrences of magnetism encountered in everyday life.
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