What Objects Have Magnetic Force: Exhaustive Facts On Various Objects

In this article, we are going to study what objects have magnetic force and possess a force relevant to the field.

The two objects with a motion of charges in the same direction experience a magnetic force of attraction, whereas, the objects with charges moving in the opposite direction show repulsive force between them.

What is a Magnetic Force?

A magnetic field is produced when a conductor is placed in the electric field; an electromagnetic force is induced in the conductor due to the motion of the unpaired electrons.

The force experienced by the particle in the field opposing their motion is a magnetic force. A magnetic force may be attractive or repulsive based on the alignment of the magnetic dipoles inside the material.

Types of the Magnetic Force

Attractive Force: When the two objects having the dipoles arranged in the same direction tend to attract towards each other, the force experienced by the objects on each other is known as an attractive force.

What objects have magnetic force
Unlike poles attracts

Repulsive Force: Two objects having the dipoles arranged in the opposite direction tends to repel from each other, the force exerted by the objects on each other is called repulsive force.

Magnetic Force repels
Like poles repels

Do all objects have a magnetic force

The electrons pair with the opposite spin, which results in the cancellation of the magnetic field produced by each of the electrons. When the magnetic field is set up in the material, positive and negative carriers inside the material become mobile and arrange according to the external field exerted.

If the number of electrons available is greater, then, the magnetic effects seen in the material will also escalate. Based on these, the materials are classified as follows:

Diamagnetic: Materials that have no unpaired electrons shows diamagnetism, these material tends to oppose the magnetic flux through a unit cross-sectional area and are hence repelled by the magnetic force. Examples: Gold, Copper, Silver, H2O.

Paramagnetic: Material has an unpaired electron, and these unpaired electrons tend to align themselves in the direction of the applied external field, hence showing magnetic behavior in presence of the external field. Examples: Aluminum, Di-Oxygen, Lithium.

Ferromagnetic: Material is strongly magnetized in presence of the magnetic field and retains its magnetic property even in absence of the external magnetic field.  Examples: Iron, Nickel, Cobalt.

Read more on What Produces the Strength of a Magnetic Field.

What objects use magnetic force

The application of the magnetic force is widely used due to its attractive and repulsive behavior.

Devices like electric motors, door latches, speakers, data storage devices, refrigerators, compass, clinometers, microwaves, cars, etc. use a magnet.

Let us discuss some examples below to get an idea of the commonly used objects in our day-to-day life and whether these objects show magnetic behavior or not.

Is a paper magnetic

No. Paper is a bad conductor of heat and electricity as it is made up of carbon. A carbon atom has atomic no. 6 having 4 electrons in its outermost shell, which is a half-filled electronic configuration of an atom and the most stable state of the atom. The spin of all six electrons cancels the magnetic moment produced by each thus making the total magnetic moment zero. Hence, carbon shows no magnetic behavior.

Is glass magnetic

Glass is manufactured using Silicon Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, and sodium carbonate. Silicon is a semiconductor, that is, it partly behaves as a conductor and partly as an insulator. It is a dielectric and can transmit electric force without conducting.

When the external field is very strong, the dipoles of the silicon glass may align in the direction of the fields. Glass has very low permeability and hence shows diamagnetic characteristics, but the percentage of composition of these elements is very negligible to make the glass magnetic. Some glasses are also made up of cobalt which shows magnetic behavior.

Is an iron nail magnetic

Yes, an iron nail is magnetic. The atomic number of Iron [Fe] is Z=26. The electronic configuration of this element is given by [Ar]3d64s2. The valence electron of Feis 8 and has 4 unpaired electrons. Hence, iron shows ferromagnetism and retains its magnetic property even in the absence of an external field.

Is a wood magnetic

Wood is an insulator. It is a bad conductor of heat and electricity, and hence no field is induced inside the wood and no field of attraction appears.

Is gold magnetic

Pure gold is not magnetic but shows magnetic behavior in presence of an external field. The electronic configuration of Ag: [Xe] 4f145d106s1. The 6s orbital has one unpaired electron which is a half-filled shell. Because of this unpaired electron, gold shows diamagnetic behavior in presence of the external field. Moreover, the magnetism of alloy of gold depends upon which metal is used to make an alloy with gold.

Is brass magnetic

Under normal circumstances, brass is not magnetic at all. It’s only when the strong magnetic field is applied to the brass metal, the electric current is set up inside the metal. This follows Lenz’s Law. When an electric current is set up inside the metal, it will show some interaction with the magnet.

Brass is an alloy of Copper [Cu] and Zinc[Zn] and shows a slight diamagnetic effect in presence of an external field, but it is very small to be noticed.

Is silver magnetic

The atomic number of silver [Ag] is 47 and the electronic configuration of Ag is [Kr]4d105s1. It has a half-filled, stable 5s orbital with one unpaired electron. Silver is not magnetic but will show some interaction with a strong magnet under the influence of Lenz Law which states that the current induced in the circuit due to the motion of the charged particles is directed to oppose the change in flux and hence exerts a force opposing the velocity of the particles.

The magnetic moments induced will produce an eddy current within the silver metal. This eddy current is responsible for the interaction of the metal with magnet. Hence, silver shows diamagnetism in presence of an intense magnetic field.

Are whiteboards magnetic

Whiteboards are not magnetic. Whiteboard mostly has steel sheets that provided magnetism across the surface of the board. Steel is an alloy of iron that has ferromagnetic characteristics.

What metal is magnetic

Magnetic materials are attracted towards the magnet and may even become magnetized. The ferromagnetic metals will definitely show magnetic effects naturally because they are magnetized. Even, the metals made from the alloys of the ferromagnetic material will show magnetic behavior. 

Is a chalkboard magnetic

Chalkboards are not magnetic but can be made magnetic using galvanized steel and by applying magnetic primer.

Is a penny magnetic

No. Penny is a coin made up of Bronze, an alloy of 95% copper and 5% Tin and Zinc. This alloy does not show any magnetic behavior.

Is plastic attracted to magnets

No. Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic nowadays. Plastic is a bad conductor of heat and electricity, known as an insulator; hence does not consist of magnetic properties.

Is nickel magnetic

Yes. Nickel has atomic number 28. The electronic configuration of nickel is [Ar] 4s2, 3d8 and has two unpaired electrons. Hence, it shows ferromagnetic characteristics.

Can trees be magnetic

No. Wood is a bad conductor of heat and electricity. But, the tree has certain elements that may show magnetic characteristics.

Are Diamonds magnetic

No, because diamonds are made up of carbon which has 6 electrons, and all the electrons pair up with each other which cancels out the magnetic moment produced due to the spin of the electrons. Hence, the total magnetic moment by the carbon atom is nil and does not show any magnetic behavior. But some synthetic diamonds are magnetic because of some inclusions during their manufacturing.

Is Black Sand magnetic

Black sand is formed due to a result of the volcanic eruption. The molten magma is often comprised of Fe-rich lava. The mineral usually found in the area of volcanic eruption with more concentration of iron is magnetite. Magnetite being rich in Fe-concentration is ferromagnetic and hence the black sand is magnetic.

Is an aluminum can magnetic

Aluminum has atomic number 13. Its electronic configuration is 1s22s22p63s23p1. Since Al has only one unpaired electron the paramagnetism is expected, but aluminum is not magnetic under normal conditions. Only when it is introduced in the magnetic field region, small eddy currents are established inside the Al-metal which instigate magnetic dipoles and hence shows paramagnetism.

Is a lead solder magnetic

Lead with atomic no.82, [Xe] 4f14, 5d10, 6s2, 6p2; is not magnetic; but shows weak diamagnetism in presence of external magnetic field as it acquires magnetism in the direction opposite to the field.

Is there magnets in dirt

Yes. When we left the magnet in the open air, we will notice that the magnet will gather some dirt on it. Dirt gets magnetized only when we apply the magnetic field to it.

Is Sugar magnetic

The chemical formula of sugar is C12H22O11. It interacts in electromagnetic fields and thus can be affected by a magnetic field, but is not magnetic.

Is Salt attracted to a magnet

Rock salt shows very weak magnetism as it contains few paramagnetic or ferromagnetic minerals. Salt of cobalt shows very high magnetic behavior. NaCl is diamagnetic; all spins are paired in Na+ and Cl- ions.

Can magnets move water

Water is slightly repelled by a strong magnet. Water has 2 hydrogens and one oxygen atom, when both combine to form water, there are no free electrons left behind to attract anything towards it to pair, hence water is diamagnetic.

Read more on objects that produce a magnetic field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a magnet transform one form of energy to another?

A magnet transfers one form of energy into another without any loss of its energy.

Such as mechanical to mechanical in attraction and repulsion; mechanical to electrical in generators, microphones; electrical to mechanical in motors, loudspeakers; mechanical to heat energy as eddy current, hysteresis torque devices.

How a magnet affects the growth of the plant?

It is noticed that the plant grows faster when it is surrounded by a magnet on the soil.

A magnet attracts ferromagnetic elements from the soil towards it, which becomes easier for the roots of the plant to intake these elements and grow at a faster rate.


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 - linkedin.com/in/akshita-mapari-b38a68122

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