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## Physics library

### Course: Physics library>Unit 18

Lesson 1: Discovery of magnetism

# Floating magnet

Can you use a magnet as a compass? How can you find North vs. South pole? Created by Brit Cruise.

## Want to join the conversation?

• How can you actually tell that side is North?
• the videomaker already knew which way is north - the sun, for example, is a good "external" reference.
what the video shows is how to identify which side of the ceramic magnet is which, so that you can polarise the needle the right way around so that when you build a compass, the needle faces North, NOT South.
• I notice you labeled the side of the magnet facing North 'N'. Shouldn't it be 'S' since opposites attract?
• Ya , I agree with that opposite attract each other but the main purpose of the compass is to find the direction by using magnetic field around the earth . The 'N' means the northern direction not the poles of magnet. If it is otherwise then people will take more time in identifying direction since they have to do opposite.
• Can you use a magnet as a compass? How can you find North vs. South pole?
• Another way to do this is to tape a magnet to a piece of string and then let the magnet dangle. The south pole will point to the north in my opinion.
• just in case th magnet falls in the water unnoticed. what happens to it?does it loose its magnetic power?
• No, it will not lose it's magnetism.
But if you drop it onto the ground (or any hard, flat surface), it will weaken its magnetism. If you heat a magnet, it will lose its magnetism completely.
(1 vote)
• Why does the magnet get attracted to the North side and how do we know which that is?
• Because of the magnetic properties of the earth's core.
(1 vote)
• how come it went to the north and not the south ?
• It went both ways. The north side of the magnet was pulled towards the south, and the south side of the magnet was pulled towards the north.
(1 vote)
• why can"nt the other side be north why only this side
(1 vote)
• the video show how to tell which sides of the "master" magnet are which, not hoe to find out which way is actually North!
Most of us already know which way North is in our homes - so if you do the experiment at home, you can find out which side of the "master" ceramic magnet is which.
This step is necessary, else you might end up building a compass which always faces south, rather than north!
North is easily worked out for the earth, if you just remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west! So North has East on the right, and west on the left, and south is the other way around!
(1 vote)
• is he refering to geographical north and south
(1 vote)
• Nop, he's referring to the magnetic North Pole which is geographically different (albeit close) from the North Pole.
(1 vote)
• Is the white item in the bottlecap, used to hold the ceramic magnet on its edge, a button? Is it glued to the bottlecap? I think it would be helpful to show this item more prominently for a moment.
(1 vote)
• I believe it's just a normal cap, that happens to have something in the middle.
(1 vote)
• How do you tell the side is facing north? I couldn't get it. Thank you
(1 vote)
• the right side of the magnet is facing north, the other side is facing south.
(1 vote)

## Video transcript

ceramic magnet bottle cap south – north