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Name:  Liz S.
Status: educator
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

Hello there,

In the "General Science Topics" section archives, there was a question concerning recharging magnets. The answer given did not really, for me, help me at all. Was the answer saying that we could take our magnets somewhere and could have someone recharge them? Is there any way a 5th grade teacher like myself can recharge permanant magnets?


You cannot achieve much of a "recharge" with ordinary equipment available to you. However there is a way that will give a weak restorative effect to a (bar not horseshoe) magnet.

Float the magnet atop a board in a plastic pan of water and allow it to come to rest "pointing north-south." Carefully remove it and hold it in the exact same N-S orientation as when floating on the board then repeatedly strike one end of the magnet sharply with a hammer. Wear safety glasses lest a chip of metal break off.

The blows from the hammer will jiggle the magnetic domains in the magnet to realign with the earth's magnetic field. The process will work on any bar made of iron. If you successfully perform the experiment, you can explain the "why" of it to your students.


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