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Discovery of Magnets

Casa & Asa | 7-14 yrs | Video, Animation

Who discovered magnets?

Legend has it that magnets were discovered accidentally by a Greek shepherd named Magnes. While tending his sheep in a region of northern Greece called Magnesia, the shepherd took a step and suddenly found that the metal tip of his shoe was stuck on a rock he was standing on. Puzzled, he began digging and discovered the first recorded lodestone. It is said that since then Lodestone started getting known as “magnetite”, probably named after Magnes or Magnesia.

Although the term lodestone comes from the Anglo-Saxon meaning “leading stone”

How were magnets first used?

The first documented use of magnets has been for a compass. Between the years 1405 and 1433, Zheng He of Yunnan province mentioned the use of a compass with a magnetic needle as he recorded his voyages across seven oceans.

Although it is argued that the earliest understanding of magnet as a guide in a compass for seamen was recorded in 1180 by an Englishman Alexander Neckam.

And by 1820, the Dutch scientist Hans Christian Oersted discovered the relationship between electricity and magnets which a year later French physicist Andre Ampere expanded it further.

Electromagnetism is used in all kind of electronic devices we use today, e.g. Hard disk drives, speakers, motors and generators. They are also used for MRI machines to take pictures of your body parts to detect any health issue!