Making A Magnet - Off topic

Richard J. Nelson rjnelsoncf at
Sun Jul 20 15:56:26 MDT 2014

Hello Roger,


Yes, Roger, you are right.  I noticed the downward angle with my Milligauss
meter probe just recently.


I did this experiment 50 years ago.  I just did a quick test - I can't get
diverted right now - and it didn't work.




I suspended a 10 inch nail above a compus to be sure I aligned the nail
correctly.  I pointed it down at vatious angles and struck the nail.
Attracting a staple is a sensitive indication for a magnetized item – such
as a screw driver - and no affect after a dozen tries.


A single pass over a ¼” diameter NIB magnet produced a very strong
attraction.  I demagnetized it again and no attraction.  I have magnetic
field measurement capability from low milli-gauss to 30,000 gauss and I
wojuld like to explore this, but . . . 


X < > Y,






Richard J. Nelson

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-----Original Message-----
From: hhc-bounces at [mailto:hhc-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Roger Hill
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2014 2:14 PM
To: Handheld Computing Conference discussion list
Subject: RE: Making A Magnet - Off topic


Department of Nitpicking:  I believe that in the continental U.S., the
magnetic field points toward magnetic north and *downward*, so that's the
way you'd want to orient the rod for maximum magnetization.  The magnetic
field lines come out of the magnetic north pole (which is near the
geographical south pole), are parallel to the earth's surface at the
magnetic equator, and then go into the earth in the northern magnetic
hemisphere and get "sucked" into the magnetic south pole, which is near the
geographical north pole but slowly moves as you point out.  For typical U.S.
latitudes the downward component of the magnetic field is somewhat greater
than the horizontal component, so pointing the iron bar somewhere around
50-60° below magnetic north would be about optimal.


-- Roger


----------------- On Richard N's message ----------------- 


> My favorite way to make a magnet is to use an iron rod hanging on a 

> string.  Orient it parallel with the earth's magnetic field (pointing 

> to magnetic north - check where it is these days because it is moving 

> 20 miles a year into Canada - and tilted slightly upwards if you are 

> in the US - and then rapping it sharply with a hammer.  Presto, it is 

> detectably magnetized.




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