history of magnets

  1. Dr. Sheldon Breiner & His Magnetic Exploration Techniques

    Dr. Sheldon Breiner & His Magnetic Exploration Techniques
    In October 2019, world-renowned geophysicist  Dr. Sheldon Breiner passed away at the age of 82. Breiner was a magnetic pioneer. In the 1960s, he devised a method to use magnetism to detect  sunken submarines and other underwater objects by observing the way they affected the magnetic fields around them. His company, Geometrics, developed magnetometers that measured magnetic fields, and his expertise helped archaeological research expeditions around the world.  Continue reading →
  2. A Brief History of Magnets: Degaussing Ships During World War II

    A Brief History of Magnets: Degaussing Ships During World War II
    If you’ve been following along with our blog for a while, you probably know that we enjoy reporting on magnet hacks, magnet experiments, magnets in the news, and even magnetic DIY projects. However, we’re also a team interested in the history of magnetism and the uses of magnets throughout the years! In this blog, let’s travel back in time to World War II. Continue reading →
  3. Compasses: The World’s Earliest Magnetic Invention

    Compasses: The World’s Earliest Magnetic Invention
    We often discuss the way modern technology relies on the power of magnets, but in truth, society’s reliance on magnets started a long time ago – roughly 2,000 years in the past. One of history’s most significant magnetic inventions, and possibly its first, the compass is believed to have been used for fortune-telling and divination in ancient China. Sometime between the 11th and 12th century though, the compass became a navigational tool. It changed the way we travel and allowed us to, quite literally, orient ourselves. For the first time, we could consider our position in the world in relation to others and navigate the real possibility of getting from here to there.  Continue reading →
  4. Magnetic Personalities: William Gilbert

    Magnetic Personalities: William Gilbert
    Acknowledged by many as being the father of electricity and magnetism, William Gilbert is probably best known for his work on magnetism and studying the earth’s magnetic forces. Gilbert is credited as one of the first people to use the term “electricity” and was one of the first to find evidence proving Copernicus’s assertion that the earth isn’t a fixed point at the center of the galaxy. Read more about this fascinating and, dare we say, magnetic scientist here: Continue reading →
  5. Magnets Over the Last 100 Years: From AlNiCo to Neodymium

    Magnets Over the Last 100 Years: From AlNiCo to Neodymium
    By eleventh century AD, the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese all recorded their discovery of a seemingly magical rock that attracted iron and other stones: the naturally occurring lodestone. After its discovery, it didn’t take long for the Chinese to develop the first compass between 400 and 200 BC. Thus began the history of the magnet.  Continue reading →
  6. Magnetic Personalities: Magnes the Shepherd

    Magnetic Personalities: Magnes the Shepherd
    Magnes the Shepherd might be the very first of the Magnetic Personalities! Origin stories were popular in numerous ancient cultures and it seems like every aspect of human life has a legend associated with it. This is particularly true of the ancient Greeks. Pandora’s Box explains how evil came into the world. Your voice’s echo is really just a mountain nymph responding to you. Even the passing of the seasons is tied up with the story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Continue reading →
  7. Magnetic Personalities: Franz Mesmer

    Magnetic Personalities: Franz Mesmer
    Today, we use the phrase “animal magnetism” as a figure of speech. It’s often used to convey someone’s congeniality or attractiveness. Believe us, when we’re looking for the latest magnetic news, it can get a little tricky with all of the metaphorical headlines. However, this wasn’t always the case. The term “animal magnetism” was coined in a very literal sense by Austrian physician, Franz Mesmer (hence the term mesmerizing). Although his ideas were a little (ok, really) outlandish, Mesmer paved the way for a lot solid magnetic research. Continue reading →
  8. Magnetic Personalities: Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Magnetic Personalities: Neil deGrasse Tyson
    An astrophysicist by trade, Neil deGrasse Tyson has become something of a pop culture icon over the past few years. He is perhaps best known for acclaimed miniseries Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which was a revisioning of his mentor Carl Sagan’s program of the same name. Tyson’s long and accomplished career, coupled with his celebrity have made him and ambassador for science to curious people of all ages. Continue reading →
  9. Magnetic Personalities: Mary Fairfax Somerville

    Magnetic Personalities: Mary Fairfax Somerville
    Sometimes we need a reminder that a strong sense of self-discipline and curiosity can lead to great scientific discovery. Mary Fairfax Somerville, the 19th century “Queen of Science” who gained recognition as a self-taught science writer after the publication of her Mechanism of the Heavens in 1831, exemplifies this notion. Continue reading →
  10. Magnetic Personalities: Sebald Justinus Brugmans

    Magnetic Personalities: Sebald Justinus Brugmans
    Sometimes great discoveries find the scientist. This is certainly the case with Dutch botanist Sebald Justinus Brugmans. Through a complex life with many careers, Brugmans contributed to an array of scientific fields including chemistry, medicine, botany, and physics. Continue reading →

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