Story of discovery:
Once lived a shepherd named Magnes in the region of Asia Minor. He used to carry a stick with a small iron piece attached to it while taking his goats and sheep for grazing to a mountain. But one day, his stick got attracted to a rock, and it was hard for him to pull it back. Even the iron nail in his boots got stuck on the rock.
Magnes with a stick
He then noticed that the rock was a natural magnet that attracted the iron tip of the stick and his boots. Thus, the natural magnet was discovered and named after the shepherd as magnetite.
Introduction to magnets:
Magnets are objects that attract metals such as iron, cobalt, and nickel. They are generally made of stone, metal or other materials with the attracting property. The earliest evidence for magnets can be found in Magnesia, an area of Asia Minor.
Even the Chinese were aware of the magnetic property and used them even before \(200\ B.C\). In \(1200\ A.D\), the Chinese used the magnetic compass to navigate to travel long distances in the sea.
Chinese sailors finding direction using a compass
The world went in a different direction after the discovery of magnets. Magnets play a significant role in becoming an integral part of our everyday lives.
From clock-wise direction: Refrigerator, computer, elevators and a motor.
Magnetism is the attracting property of a magnet, and it can be normal or caused. A branch of physics that deals with magnetic properties is known as Magnetism.
William Gilbert developed the theory of magnetism and proposed that the Earth contains a large bar magnet. He was born on \(May\ 24, 1544\). He was the first to conduct systematic research on the properties of lodestone (magnetic iron ore), and his results were published in the influential journal 'De Magnete', meaning 'The Magnet'.