CORDELIA MOLLOY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CORDELIA MOLLOY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Magnetic attraction. The iron filings sprinkled between these two bar magnets reveal the shape of the attractive magnetic field between them. The filings show the attraction as field lines joining the ends of the magnets. Bar magnets have a north and a south pole. Unlike poles attract each other, whereas like poles repel each other. The poles are marked north (N) and south (S). The magnetised filings align in thin arcing lines due to the interactions between them, even though the magnetic field itself is continuous. For the field shape between repelling magnets, see image C010/63754.
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