- Permanent magnets attract and repel because of the unbalanced electron spin in the atoms of some elements, notably iron. The movement of charged particles, normally electrons, in electric fields produces the same effect. Magnetism is the study of these effects and how they are produced.
- noun a force exerted by a magnetic field
- The phenomena arising from, and associated with magnets and magnetic fields. Magnetism occurs due the motion of electric charges, be they through a conductor, or within an atom. Since an electron has a charge and orbits around a nucleus, it produces a minute magnetic field. The magnetic moment of an atom is the vector sum of the magnetic moments of all its contained electrons, and the macroscopic magnetic properties observed in a material are due to the magnetic moments of the atoms, molecules, and ions that constitute said material. The main types of magnetic behavior are ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, ferrimagnetism, antiferromagnetism, and diamagnetism.