We can’t be the only ones who have wondered what happens to magnets when they’re put in abnormal circumstances. If you agree, or if you hadn’t thought of it, we’re sharing our findings with you so you don’t have to be kept up at night thinking about them. 

What if Magnets are Heated? 

Basically speaking, magnets are made up of atoms, and in normal environmental conditions, these atoms align between the poles and foster magnetism. When exposed to hotter conditions, the particles within the magnet start moving at an increasingly faster and sporadic rate. What does this mean? This jumbling confuses and misaligns the particles, causing the magnetism to be lost. Want to see it in action yourself? Try out this DIY

What if Magnets are Cooled?

The same way magnets that are heated have their atoms move, cooled magnets’ atoms will move at different speeds as well. This time, they’ll slow down. Does this change affect magnets the same way it does to heated magnets? Quite the opposite! The slowing of atoms creates a more controlled alignment, producing a magnetic field that’s slightly stronger than the original. This one is pretty cool to see for yourself, so check out this DIY. 

What if Magnets Are Submerged in Water? 

Did you know you can test the relationship between magnets and water yourself in less than a minute with a clear plastic cup, room temperature water and 2 Neodymium magnets? Just fill a clear plastic cup up about ½ with water, drop a magnet in, and watch for any reactions. Test whether or not the water affects its magnetic pull by placing another magnet near the cup. The magnets will attract one another if the submerged magnet still works. This article goes into detail, but simply put, water does not cause a magnet to lose its power!

What if Magnets are in Salt water? 

If you didn't know, saltwater conducts electricity more efficiently than freshwater. Does this affect a magnet in the same way as tap water like above? When you add salt to the mix, the water’s magnetic field completely ceases to have any significant impact on other magnetic fields. Salt also lowers the boiling point, raises the freezing point, and strengthens water’s electrical conductivity. This means saltwater affects magnets differently than freshwater. Read all about it here

What if Our Magnetic Shield Loses Strength? 

This might seem like a far-off hypothetical situation, but the Earth has actually experienced the poles reversing before. As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, Earth’s magnetic history can be studied by examining pottery from that time period. Geologists and archaeologists have determined that the pole reversals have a general pattern of one every 200,000 to 300,000 years. However, our last reversal occurred almost twice as long ago. That means we’re well overdue for a complete reversal of the Earth’s poles. What will this mean? Well, a pole reversal won’t bring with it apocalyptic volcanic activity, but it will create a lot of inconveniences with our electricity and communication grids. Read this blog to dive deeper into this scenario.  

What if We Didn’t Have Magnets? 

A world without magnets is not one we’d like to imagine and here’s why: from helping wildlife migrate, GPS for humans, and the many, many electronics and technology that utilize them, the world would heavily be affected without magnets. Read all about a world without magnets in this blog.  

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Interested in other facts about magnets? Check out the magnet facts category on the blog for many more interesting facts about magnets!