What Is Magnet For Kids-Definition, Properties & Shape

‘What is magnet’ is explained here with lots of examples, types, explanations, characteristics to have a piece of good knowledge. I hope, you will enjoy this session.

What is Magnet?

Magnet Introduction

What is magnet? A very common question! All kids are playing with magnets. Even senior people are also fond of magnets and they get this object they also tend to ply. We all have fridge magnets and it’s very interesting when we stick it on the fridge. We have brought so many symbolic fridge magnets from various countries.

In our home, we see,

  • Fridge magnets
  • Magnetic screw
  • Magnets in radio
  • Magnetic screwdriver

In big heavy industries, like various vehicles, generators, cranes, etc. magnets are widely used. We have learned that magnets are the main object in the campus.

Basic Concept of Magnet

I remember an event in my childhood. I was 5 years old and suddenly got an object. I was playing with it but totally surprised to see the behavior of it. It was attracting other objects.

I keep the object in touch with:

  • door handle
  • keys
  • locks
  • nuts & bolts
  • pins

In the above all cases, I had seen the object is attached. Then I try to keep it with some other objects like

  • Wooden chair
  • Plastic char
  • Aluminum can
  • Fabric
  • Wools etc.
what is magnet
What is magnet

In these cases, I had seen the object is not attached. Again, I try to keep it to attach to the fridge. It is attached. This behavior is not normal of the materials and the concept of magnet comes.

Definition & Meaning of Magnet

Magnet Meaning

Why the objects are behaving differently from various objects? We have seen in the above example:

  • The object is attaching with pins, nut bolts, locks, etc. basically which are made of iron.
  • The object is not attaching with wooden chairs, aluminum can, gold, fabrics which is not made of iron.

This object creates an effect that attracts the iron and this object which attracts iron is called a magnet and the effect is called as magnetic field.

Magnet Definition

We can define as,

An abject that can attract other objects by creating a magnetic field, is known as a magnet.”

Shape of Magnets

Magnets are of different shapes:

  • Bar Magnet
  • U Shape Magnet
  • Ring magnet
  • Disc Magnet
shape of magnets
Shape of magnets

Definition of Terms

There are a few terms that are required to know for the understanding of magnet. These are.

  • Pole of magnet
  • Magnetic field

Poles of Magnet

Each magnet has two ends. Magnets have two poles:

  • North pole and
  • South pole.
poles of magnet
Poles of magnet

Magnetic Field

When the magnet comes close to pins or iron nails, it will be attracted. Why does this attraction happen?  Because it always produces an effect around it which helps to attract. This effect is known as the magnetic field.

Attraction Between Two Opposite Poles

Two opposite poles are attracted. It means:

  • North Pole attracts South Pole
  • South Pole Attracts North Pole
attraction between two opposite poles
Attraction between two opposite poles

Repulsion Between Two Same Poles

Two same poles repel each other. It means:

  • North Pole repel North Pole
  • South Pole repel South Pole
repulsion between two same poles
Repulsion between two same poles

Magnet Attracts Some Metals

It attracts the following metals:

  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Cobalt
magnet attracts materials
Magnet attracts materials

Properties of Magnets

The basic properties of magnets are, as follows:

  • When magnets are kept near to the iron filings, we observe that the iron filings attracted to the end of the magnets.
  • The attraction is maximum at the poles.  
  • Magnetic poles exist in pairs.
  • The same pole always attracts.
  • The opposite pole always repels.
  • If magnets are broken into pieces, the smallest piece also will be a magnet.
  • If magnets are suspended freely in the stable air, it always stable in the north-south direction.
  • The Pole pointing towards the geographic north of the earth is known as the North pole and the pole pointing towards the geographic south of the earth is known as the South pole.
  • The magnetic force is more if the distance between these magnets is lesser.
  • This force is less if the distance is more.
properties of magnet
Properties of magnet

How Does Magnets Work?

  • Bring magnets near to iron or nickel or cobalt.
  • It has two poles, north & south. 
  • Take two magnets. hence, each one has these two poles. If we keep the same pole of these two magnets, it will be attracted.
  • If we keep opposite poles, it will repel each other.
  • It produces force around it i.e. magnetic field.
  • This field which is known as magnetism creates an attraction between two opposite poles and repulsion between two same poles.
how does magnet work?
How does magnet work?

Discovery of Magnets


It’s all about 4000 years ago. Do you believe it? There was a small place Magnesia in northern Greece. A person Megnes lived in that place. He was a shepherd and had a herd of sheep. This place was having a range of mountains and it’s very beautiful. He had always one iron stick in his hand.

One morning, he was herding his sheep and suddenly he found that his iron rod sticks with one rock.


He was totally surprised and thought about how was it possible. Now, Magnes was very dynamic and thought he has to find out why this abnormality happened?

He brings awe and started digging. Continuous digging helps him to find out an abnormal rock that sticks the iron rod.

magnet discovered
Magnet discovered

He checked with his iron stick continuously. When he brings his iron stick near to the rock, the rock attracts. If it brings very near to the rock, it attracts fast. If it maintains little distance from the rock, the stick attacks slowly. 

This is the abnormal behavior of the rock.  This abnormal rock is nothing but a magnet and this is a real story of the discovery of magnet.

Discovery in Rome

Pliny the Elder, a Roman author as well as naturalist researched on a hill in the early A.D. years. He proved and documented that the hill was made of a specular stone that attracts iron. Pliny, later on, described it as the magical powers of magnetite and launched few theories.

Discovery in China

Initially, when the magnet was not discovered, to understand direction, the following techniques are used,

  • Geographical position
  • Direction at sea
  • Sampling mud from the seafloor
  • The flight path of birds, and wind direction
  • Sea debris,

In China, around 800 A.D, the Chinese are developed a compass to navigate in the sea considering loadstone and its magnetic properties.

In the same way, magnets are introduced in Scandinavia, France, England, Denmark, India, etc. In 1983, scientists have produced magnets of the advanced magnets, i.e., 35 MGOs and currently it is developed to 52 MGOe magnets.

Uses of Magnets

In this era, we cannot move an inch without magnets. It is used by a small fan of big machines.

Following are the few uses in our life:

  • Magnets are used in compasses
  • Generators, electric motors
  • Air conditioners, washing machines
  • Medical equipment
  • High-speed trains
  • Cranes
  • Turbines
  • Speakers
  • Compass

Magnetic Property Loss

There are few things, which should not do with magnets to protect the magnetic property. The following things which lose the magnetic properties,

  • Heating
  • Hitting
  • Hammering 
  • Dropping etc.


So, we have learned the basics of magnets. I hope, the idea is clear, please write to us, if you have any doubt.

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