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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Three Surprising Facts About the Physics of Magnets

•, By Paul Sutter

Sutter is also host of Ask a Spaceman and Space Radio, and leads AstroTours around the world. Sutter contributed this article to's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Magnets and the magnetic force are ubiquitous in our everyday lives, helping to guide us in unfamiliar territory and attach our kids' artwork to the fridge. But other than those common examples, magnetic fields always seem to play second fiddle in the symphony of forces in the universe. Sure, every once in a long while they may get to call the shots — like in the extremely dangerous environments of a magnetar or the extremely useful environments of an NMR scanner — but for the most part they simply exist, getting pushed around by their more powerful cousins.

But despite their relative insignificance, they hold a few secrets.

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