Making A Magnet - Off topic

richard nineteenfortyone richard1941 at
Mon Jul 21 14:53:56 MDT 2014

Thanks for the info in magnetic suction.   I had a great idea for
propulsion of spacecraft: the vehicle would carry a magnetic North pole,
and it would be sucked in a southerly direction.  Since the pole has a
magnetic field, there is stored energy, and there is mass, so the velocity
does not become infinite.  I think that with a large superconducting loop
to constrain motion to a specific plane, one could tack as with a

There is considerable literature on controlling the charge on spacecraft.

. . . Richard

On Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM, Roger Hill <rhill at> wrote:

> 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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NOT sent from that galldurned iPhone with its crippled bluetooth and
authoritarian restrictions.
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