The North pole and South pole of a magnet attract the paper clips equally – how?

In this post, we will discuss how the North pole and the South pole of a magnet attract the paper clips equally.

When the magnet is brought close to the paper clip, the paper clip becomes a temporary magnet. The paper clip pole nearest the permanent magnet becomes an opposite pole; if the permanent magnet is a north pole, the paper clip end nearest becomes a south pole (and vice versa). There is always an attractive force and this is an example of magnetic induction: an opposite pole is induced as the magnet is brought near.

figure 1: The North pole and South pole of a magnet attract the paper clips equally - how? A chain of paper clips shows how strong the magnet is; here, the force passes through a piece of
cardboard.
figure 1:
A chain of paper clips shows how strong the magnet is; here, the force passes through a piece of cardboard.

Students can use a bar magnet to pick up paper clips. Test both ends of the magnet to show that both a north pole and a south pole attract the paper clips.

You may like to experiment with different shapes and strengths of magnets if you have access to them, checking how many paper clips can be attracted by each pole.

The North pole and South pole of a magnet attract the paper clips equally – how?
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