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Name: Julian
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
I am studying forms of magnatism, especially related to the light spectrum. As with Maxwells theory of electromagnetic radiation being part of the light spectrum, I have been puzzling over whether a gas or even a liquid can have magnetic moment, or can be capable of generating a magnetic field if induced by either a permanent or electro-magnet?

Does this make sense and if so is it possible?


Replies:
Any molecule or atom that contains one or more unpaired electrons will be magnetic. There are different kinds of magnetism, but I'm using the criterion that if a substance is attracted by a permanent magnet, it is magnetic. Magnetism can in several ways. The two most common reasons are:

1. The molecule/atom contains an odd number of electrons.

2. The molecule/atom has one or more unpaired electrons as a result of

Hundt's rule that states that atomic orbitals with unpaired electrons "fill" before atomic orbitals that form electron pairs. This arises from quantum mechanics for reasons beyond the scope of this explanation.

Yes, liquids and gases can be magnetic, but there aren't many. Oxygen [O2], nitric oxide [NO], and nitrogen dioxide [NO2] are the only common gases/liquids that are magnetic.

V. Calder


As far as I know, a liquid or gas sample cannot have a permanent magnetic moment. For this to occur, the individual magnetic moments of the atoms or molecules making up the sample must have some long-range order. In a liquid or gas, thermal motions constantly disrupt long-range order.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois



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