magnetic field

  1. The Magnetic Surface of Mars

    The Magnetic Surface of Mars
    Mars has been a popular source of intrigue over the past ten years. Thoughts of colonizing, or at the very least visiting, the red planet have been all over the news. However, one major hurdle to overcome is the martian magnetic field. Unlike other planets such as Earth, Mars does not have single-source magnetic field, but rather, it pulls from many smaller sources to generate a much weaker atmosphere. Continue reading →
  2. Earth's Magnetic Oceans

    Earth's Magnetic Oceans
    You might hear a lot about the ocean’s magnetism, in a metaphorical sense that is. But, while people love flocking to the beach or setting sail, other forces are at work. It turns out the ocean’s magnetism might be much more literal than we think! Researchers now believe that Earth’s ocean may actually play a significant role in the planet’s magnetic field. Continue reading →
  3. Shrinking Coins with Electromagnetism

    Shrinking Coins with Electromagnetism
    The saying ‘bigger is better’ has taken the nation by storm, whether it’s describing the size of your phone or your television. But for the people over at Physics Girl, they’ve taken a liking to the exact opposite of that perspective, shrinking. Now you may remember “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” where an inventor’s shrink ray miniaturized his children, but this shrinking isn’t movie magic. Using a capacitor, a coil and some electricity they are able to actually shrink a quarter to a notably smaller size. Although it isn’t truly shrinking, but more compressing, it gives the illusion that the quarter has been shrunk down. Continue reading →
  4. What Proxima Centauri’s Magnetic Field Means for Proxima B

    What Proxima Centauri’s Magnetic Field Means for Proxima B
    You may have heard that a new exoplanet was discovered orbiting the red dwarf Proxima Centauri. It’s a mere 4 light years from Earth, though it would take us about 20 years to travel there. Scientists are quick to point out that this new planet, dubbed Proxima B, is in what they call the “habitable zone.” Basically, Proxima B’s distance from its respective star suggests the planet could contain liquid water and maybe even sustain life! Continue reading →
  5. A Quick Guide to Different Types of Magnetism

    A Quick Guide to Different Types of Magnetism
    We use the word “magnetism” quite a bit. In general, magnetism is thought of as the simple attraction of two metals. However, magnetism is much more nuanced than this. Magnetism is classified in several different ways. It all comes down to the atoms that make up each element or compound. Furthermore, it depends on the charge of those atoms’ electrons and how they react (if at all) to magnetic fields. Physicist Michael Faraday determined that all objects are either diamagnetic (and repel magnetic fields) or paramagnetic (attract magnetic fields). Continue reading →
  6. Why Are British Coins Magnetic?

    Why Are British Coins Magnetic?
    If you’ve ever traveled to the UK, you may have noticed some differences in the currency. Obviously, it looks different and it’s called something else (what we call cents, the British call pence or simply “p”). But there are more contrasts at work. British coins are magnetic while American coins aren’t. If you’re like us here at Apex, this is certainly an interesting fact. Continue reading →
  7. NASA’s Juno Satellite vs. Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

    NASA’s Juno Satellite vs. Jupiter’s Magnetic Field
    Named for the Roman king of the Gods, Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and is known for its giant red spot--a raging storm four times as wide as Earth. Jupiter is a gas giant and resides 601 million miles away. Since it was discovered by Galileo in 1610, we’ve learned little about this mysterious planet. That may be about to change. Continue reading →
  8. The Van Allen Radiation Belts

    The Van Allen Radiation Belts
    Earth’s magnetic field protects the surface from cosmic radiation and charged particles from the Sun. While it seems like the magnetic field is a giant force field deflecting harmful particles far away into the universe, it’s actually doing the opposite. Magnetized planets like Earth have layers of charged particles trapped by the magnetic field. Earth has two of these layers known as Van Allen radiation belts. Continue reading →
  9. Ancient Earth's Bizarre Magnetism

    Ancient Earth's Bizarre Magnetism
    When you picture a magnetic field, you probably think of a sketch from grade school: a magnet with loops from the north to the south pole. By and large, this model holds up, and the earth’s magnetic field operates in the same way. But what if this hadn’t always been the case? New research suggests that, in fact, the earth may have had more than two poles for a tumultuous period of its history. Thus, instead of the symmetrical and familiar magnetic model, half a billion years ago, the earth’s magnetism was a messy model of poles and fields. But how did this work exactly? And how did researchers come to this conclusion? Continue reading →
  10. Earth's Magnetism and the Geodynamo Paradox

    Earth's Magnetism and the Geodynamo Paradox
    Earth’s magnetic field is one of the reasons our planet is inhabitable. Without the protection of magnetism, Earth would face the dangers of space like cosmic radiation, which would be catastrophic for life on the surface. While we understand the basic process powering the magnetic field, the origins and evolution of our magnetic bubble are a little unclear. So, what processes sustain the magnetic field and how did it evolve? Continue reading →

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