Magnet users of all experience levels have likely heard of magnetic force and magnetic fields. While these phrases are used quite often, many might not be aware of the difference between them. Today, we are taking a look at the basics of both concepts. 

Magnetic Field 

A magnetic field is actually a vector field in the area of a magnet composed of moving electric charges. The size and strength of a magnetic field can fluctuate depending on the current produced by the respective magnet. As you might expect, the magnetic field is stronger if you are close to the magnet and gets weaker as you move away from it.    There are field lines in place to give you a better understanding of how the field looks and is produced. The lines exit at the north pole of a magnet and re-enter the magnet through the south pole. These lines don’t actually stop, however, as they constantly make the same loops. 

Magnetic Force 

Thanks to the magnet field, we can also begin to understand magnetic force, which is the force exerted by your magnet onto another object as a result of two moving charges. This is actually considered to be a non-contact force since the magnet can attract items made out of iron, steel, and nickel without there being any contact. While magnetic force can be attractive, this is not always the case. If you were to match up two north or south poles, there would be repulsion.   See these principles in action by placing a nail or paper clip on a table and pushing a magnet toward it. You will see the items attraction to the magnet on full display. Likewise, grab another magnet and line up the poles to feel repulsion. 

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