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How to Make a Magnet - Magnets for Kids

How to Make a Magnet?

If you have one magnet already, you can magnetize another piece of metal, such as a steel needle, to make a new magnet.

This is how to do it. 
Hold a steel needle in one hand and a bar magnet in the other hand.
Stroke one end, or pole, of the magnet all along the needle several times.
You must always use the same pole of the magnet, and stroke the needle in the same direction.
In between strokes, lift the magnet in a curve high above the needle from one end to the other.

You have now magnetized the needle.
magnetized needle with magnet

It's easy to make a steel needle into a magnet. Stroke the needle several times with one end of a bar magnet. Make sure you always stroke in the same direction. 
Always use the same end of the bar magnet.

Magnet composition - What's inside a magnet?

How does the needle become magnetized? 

Actually, there were magnets inside the needle even before you stroked it with the magnet.
The needle, the magnet, and everything in the world are made up of tiny building blocks called atoms.
Atoms are so small that even if you could put a million atoms side by side, a strand of human hair would be thicker.
The atoms in a steel needle group together into domains, which are magnetized bunches of atoms.
Inside a magnet, all the domains point in the same direction and create a magnetic field around the magnet.
But in the steel needle, the domains point in all different directions.
There is no magnetic field around the needle because the domains cancel each other out.
When you stroke a steel needle with a magnet, you make all the domains line up in the same direction. Then the needle becomes a magnet, too.

What happens if a bar magnet is cut in half ? 

There will be two magnets!
Do you know why?
When the magnet is cut in half, the domains are still lined up in each piece. So each half becomes a magnet, with a north pole at one end and a south pole at the other end. If each magnet is cut in half again, there will be four magnets.
Magnet cut in half

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