Temperature affects a lot of things, and magnets surely are no different. Extreme hot and cold temperatures can destabilize the balance between temperature and magnetic domains affecting the strength. But what is the threshold of temperatures that are beneficial versus which ones are weakening? 

Try this science experiment to find out how temperature affects magnet strength!

What You’ll Need

  • Three neodymium bar magnets
  • Ice & bowl
  • A stove
  • A pot that can boil water 
  • A compass
  • A ruler
  • A roll of duct tape
  • A set of tongs

Steps

  1. First, place one magnet on the table so that it reaches room temperature. While this is happening, start boiling water in your pot and get your ice bath ready by plopping a few ice cubes into a bowl of water.
  2. Place a second magnet in the ice bath and let sit for 30 minutes. 
  3. Once the water is boiling, place the third magnet in the water for 45 seconds.
  4. On a flat table, place the compass and ruler so that the needle is facing right.
  5. Tape both the compass and the ruler to the table so that they are perpendicular to each other, making sure the “0” marker on the ruler is touching the “0” on the compass. 
  6. With the tongs, pick up the heated magnet and slide it along the ruler towards the compass.
  7. Mark the distance between the magnet and the compass when the needle begins to sway. 
  8. Repeat for the room temperature and iced magnets.
  9. Compare the distances of the heated, cooled, and room temperature magnets and record what you find. The strongest, and therefore most magnetized, of the trio, will move the needle the most, while the weakest will move it the least. 

Now you know how temperature affects the strength of a magnet! And, hopefully, you had fun learning about it. Since magnets are all around us, it’s important to know the relationship between the two forces. Now when someone asks, you can not only confidently tell them, but you can also show them the difference with this DIY experiment. 

Grab a friend and share the results of your project with us on our Facebook page. And, If you’re looking for your next cool DIY project check out the Apex Magnets blog!