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How To Make Your Phone Magnetic - Static Magnetism

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Channel: The Royal Institution
Categories: How-To   |   Physics   |   Science   |   Technology  
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Try this amazing magnetic phone trick. Michael Faraday discovered that by rubbing a battery in a parallel direction along a non-conductive surface, you can produce a magnetic field. Use this to turn your phone into a temporary magnet.
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Michael Faraday is well known for his discoveries in electricity and magnetism, linking the two together into a single scheme of forces. One of his last major discoveries was that of static magnetism, which allows any battery to become magnetic on charging with static electricity.

This will work with almost any battery, but lithium ion phone batteries work particularly well. Rubbing a battery in the north-south direction against your jeans or a jumper will initiate a transfer of electrons. The persistent direction of movement drives the electrons to the positive terminal of the battery (in this case a phone battery), and forces the individual electrons to align to single plane. This alignment allows the combined forces of each individual magnetic dipole moments of the electrons into a much larger magnet.

Ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, electromagnetism, and static magnetism form the full field of magnetic theory, and are today used in some way in almost every technological industry and process around the world.

Image credits: Peter Zuco / liz west / CERN

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