We all have played with this mysterious metallic substance in our childhood!!!
Oh!!! They were really beautiful days of life…. I’m really them a lot!!!

But have you ever wondered how these tiny mysterious objects can attract chunks of iron pieces easily??? But at the same time if we bring any other materials like aluminium or steel closer to it, it doesn’t attract itWe all did that experiment right???

Big unsolved mystery for us right???

So let’s solve it….

It all begins with our beloved electrons and their powerful ability of ‘spin’.

Spin is typical for elementary particles, composite particles and nucleus of an atom. So, what is spin in simple terms???

Spin in micro-world is the intrinsic angular momentum of the particle. It is comparable with classical rotation. In macro-world. But, here is a twist. In micro-world spin doesn’t represents the type of rotation in macro-world. Here, rotation is completely ‘intrinsic’.

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Electron Spin illustration

The unit of spin is reduced plank’s constant (ħ). Spin is an integral factor for defining particles in micro-world. Want to know more about micro-world particles??? 
Just click here…..

Now, you may ask; how this spin effects magnetism???

Okay!!!…here we go…

It has been found that these particles with spin behaves like tiny magnets. The objects which are made of these particles possess that ‘magnetism’ power.

Why only a few materials are magnetic???

See, to understand the reason behind this firstly, we have to understand how spin works in electron orbital.

Each orbital contains two electrons, each of them have opposite spin. For example, if one electron have 1 spin then other have -1 spin.

When an atom has completely filled orbital then the electron of opposite spin cancels each other.

For an atom to be magnetic, it must have half-filled orbitals so that the magnetic fields of individual electrons reinforce one another. But, that doesn’t happen. Many materials have their atoms arranged so that their magnetic fields cancel out rather than reinforcing each other. This is the reason behind very few numbers of magnetic materials.

Do other particles like protons have spin??? And if they have then why we are not discussing about them???

Yes, protons have spin and not only that, atomic nuclei and composite particle also have spin. But, we don’t consider their spin because magnetic field generated by electrons are much stronger as compared to that of protons, neutrons or similar particles like that.

Till now we are comparing particles with tiny magnets. But, this comparison is not perfectly accurate……why??? That's the topic for another article!!!😉😉

Find out in my next article….. Why comparison of particles with tiny magnets is not accurate???

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                                                                 -Ratnadeep Das Choudhury
                                               Founder and writer of The Dynamic Frequency