Is Copper Magnetic? 11 Facts You Should Know!

Copper is the most widely used metal in electronic industries as it costs less. Let us discuss whether copper is magnetic or not.

Copper is not magnetic because it is diamagnetic and shows repulsion when a magnet is placed near it. The electronic configuration of copper is [Ar] 3d10 4s1, having one unpaired electron in 4s orbital, which is shared to form a metallic bond making it diamagnetic.

In a strong magnetic field, the electrons in copper align near the surface, generating a magnetic force that resists the flux through it. We shall further explore how to make a magnet from copper, its magnetic moment, magnetic permeability, and magnetic characteristics of different types of copper.

How to make copper magnetic?

There are various methods to make copper magnetic and increase the density of magnetic flux through it. Let us list a few of these methods to make copper magnetic.

Connecting a batteryThe two terminals of a copper wire connected to a battery accumulate the electrons and protons at two ends of the copper, thus behaving like a bar magnet.
TappingThere is a probability of transferring the free electrons from copper to the other metal in contact upon tapping continuously.
Placing a copper in a strong static magnetic fieldThe magnetic flux of a static magnetic field can pass through the copper metal, increasing the magnetic flux across the cross-sectional length of the copper.
Heating Cu in the external magnetic fieldThe electrons become agile on receiving the heat energy, which can help the free electrons to align in the direction of the magnetic field and increase the magnetic strength of Copper.
Placing buck ballsBuck balls are magnetic, possessing carbon molecules that pull electrons from copper metal when placed on it.
RubbingRubbing a magnet on the copper surface tends to migrate the magnetic dipoles to the copper and also gathers the free electrons on one side of the copper metal.
Methods to make copper magnetic

Copper Magnetic Moment

The magnetic moment of a material is the ability to align free electrons in the direction of a field and increase permeability. Let us discuss the magnetic moment of copper.

The copper magnetic moment is 1.41 B.m. The magnetic moment of copper depends on the number of free electrons available. The valence electrons of copper are 3d10 4s1 with a complete d-orbital and the half-filed 4s orbital. The single electron is accounted for the magnetic moment of copper.

Since there is a single unpaired electron, the magnetic moment of copper is calculated as m = sqrt( n (n+1)), where m is the magnetic moment of copper, and n is the number of unpaired electrons of copper. Substituting values in this formula we get, m = sqrt( 1 (1+1)) B.m = sqrt( 2) B.m = 1.41 B.m.

Can copper attract magnet?

The magnet attracts when the opposite charges are gathered around its surface/pole. Let us illuminate the fact behind this behavior, whether it is magnetic or not.

The copper does not attract a magnet, but it repels away from the magnet because it is diamagnetic. The response of copper in the presence of a magnet is due to the repulsion force generated by its electrons gathered at the surface.

Can magnetic field pass through copper?

The magnetic permeability of the copper defines the total magnetic field passing through it. Let us discuss whether a magnetic field can pass through copper or not.

The magnetic field can pass through a copper at a very small range because the magnetic permeability of copper is less than one as it is diamagnetic. The static magnetic field can pass through copper. The magnetic field can pass through copper depending upon its density.

If the magnetic field strength is weak and the mass density of the copper is high, then the magnetic field lines merely transmit through it. It also depends upon the number of free electrons in the copper that aligns in the direction of the field, allowing the flux to penetrate through the material.

Is beryllium copper magnetic?

Beryllium copper is an alloy of copper with the addition of 0.5-3 % beryllium. Let us discuss whether beryllium copper is magnetic or not.

The beryllium copper is nonmagnetic because beryllium is diamagnetic with electronic configuration [He] 2s2 with a complete valence orbital shell. The formation of beryllium copper alloy strengthens the copper and cancels the weak paramagnetic behavior of the copper too.

Is pure copper magnetic?

Pure copper is free from additional elements and impurities with low hardness and high flexibility. Let us discuss whether pure copper is magnetic or not.

Pure copper is not magnetic because it does not have free electrons that respond and shows attraction towards the magnetic fields. Pure copper metal possesses diamagnetic characteristics that make copper repel away from the magnet. The motion of copper thus induces an electrical current.

Is nickel copper magnetic?

Nickel copper is an alloy with 60-90 % of copper and 10-40% of nickel. Let us see whether nickel-copper is magnetic or not.

The nickel-copper is magnetic and shows paramagnetic behavior due to the presence of two unpaired electrons of nickel and one electron in copper, out of which one of each electron pairs up to form a metallic bond. The paramagnetic behavior is due to the presence of a single electron.

Is tinned copper magnetic?

Tinned copper is shielded with tin metal to increase copper’s durability and prevent oxidizing. Let us discuss whether tinned copper is magnetic or not.

A tinned copper is weakly magnetic because tin is weakly paramagnetic, but the magnetic field’s strength is negligible, so it is regarded as diamagnetic. Tin has two unpaired electrons in a 5p orbital shell that pairs up in a metallic bond during the alloy formation.

Is silver plated copper magnetic?

Silver plating of copper protects it from getting tarnished. Let us see whether this silver plating improves the magnetic property of copper or not.

A silver-plated copper is nonmagnetic because silver is diamagnetic. The electronic configuration of silver is [Kr] 4d10 5s1, having a stable half-filled 5s orbital that makes it diamagnetic in characteristics. Hence, the silver-plated copper does not react when a magnet is held near it.

Is solid copper magnetic?

Solid copper has high rigidity and is among the cheapest metal available to make electrical wires and gauges. Let us discuss whether a solid copper is magnetic or not.

Solid copper is nonmagnetic because it is entirely made up of copper and shows diamagnetic behavior. It cannot produce a magnetic field, and neither acquires magnetic behavior from the externally supplied magnetic field due to the absence of free electrons after metallic bonding.


We can conclude from this article that copper is nonmagnetic and possesses diamagnetic characteristics. There are different methods used to make to intensify the magnetic permeability of copper. Copper can be made magnetic by alloy formation with ferromagnetic or paramagnetic material.


Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn -

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