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Why Do We Use Magnets In Electronic Devices?

Magnetism and electricity are fundamentally interlinked. Magnets are used to help create electricity and electricity can help to create an electromagnetic force. Permanent magnets and electromagnets are used in electronic devices for different purposes.

Why do we use magnets in electronic devices? Computers use magnets to store data on hard drives. Both permanent magnets and electromagnets are widely used in electronic devices such as generators, speakers, televisions, MRI scanners, motors etc. We use magnets to benefit the industrial world and our daily lives.

When it comes to magnetism or electromagnetism, the reputation of using these forces together with electronics has a bit of a bad reputation. The reason is, that many are afraid, that magnets can destroy their electronic devices, everything is relative, but it is highly unlikely unless you are very careless.

We will try to elaborate, what we can use magnets for in our daily lives, especially when it comes to electronics. We have a great passion for magnets here at MagnetPartner, and in today's blog post, we will try to have a look on, which magnificent things magnets can be used for, especially related to electronic devices.

Why do we use magnets in electronic devices?

We use magnets in electronic devices for many reasons, but sometimes, we still get surprised about how many things actually work because of magnetism and electromagnetism.

Some of the things are just minor things like a magnetic holder for the cover on your phone. Other things are a little more impressive such as the MRI-scanner. We don’t want to get to scientific about all of the knowledge there is behind magnetism and the magnetic forces, but it is commonly used in electric motors to turn electricity into motion.

We have written a lot of neodymium magnets, also called Power Magnets. It was not invented before 1982, and a lot has happened in the general improvement of magnets and the use in electronic devices.

The magnets we use in our daily life is getting stronger. The same goes for the resistance of the magnets to get ruined. So, one of the things people are afraid of when using magnets close to their electronic devices is, that you can delete your memory on your hard drive.

That is hardly a thing to be worried about anymore, and we have taken a closer look at the scene of the popular tv-show ‘Breaking Bad’ where they use a huge electromagnet to destroy evidence on a police station.

The hard drives nowadays are built with strong magnets, which are extremely hard to get demagnetized, so the worrying about destroying your devices with a magnet in daily use is often secured by the producer of the product in forehand. We still don’t recommend to use magnets directly on electronic devices though.

As we said; we use magnets in so many different electronic devices such as generators, speakers, televisions, headphones, MRI scanners, motors etc. We do that to benefit the industrial world and our daily lives.

But before we start telling more about, how magnificent magnets are, we would recommend you to read some of the warnings of using magnets together with electronic devices. Especially Power Magnets, as they are the strongest permanent magnet on the market, and if you are in the possession of a very strong magnet, it is probably one of those.

We have gathered some safety tips about Power Magnets and the warnings that you should worry about when you use powerful magnets. See them, by following this link.

Magnificent Magnets

The discovery of magnets goes way back, even before our timeline BC. The first magnets, and also the only real magnets you can find naturally are called lodestones. A lodestone is a mineral rock, which already has a magnetic field to attract other ferromagnetic materials.

The reason why it was called a lodestone is, that it was used to navigate and to create the first compasses, and the name means ‘course-stone’ or ‘leading-stone’.

The magnets we use today are much much stronger than the lodestones, and cannot be found naturally. So, the power of magnets are almost unlimited, and even though, we already use them for so many things, it can be even more used in the future.

One of the first connections between magnetism and electricity was discovered by the Danish physicist and chemist, Hans Christian Oersted. He noticed a compass needle deflected when an electric current from a battery was switched on and off. This was the beginning of the relationship between electricity and magnetism.

Permanent Magnets vs. Electromagnets

A permanent magnet is an object made from a material that is magnetized and creates a persistent magnetic field. An electromagnet has the magnetic field produced by an electric current. This means, that the magnetic field disappears when the current is turned off.

A sim14ple electromagnet consisting of a coil of wire wrapped around a ferromagnetic material, usually iron, which is known for the most common element. The strength of the magnetic field generated is proportional to the amount of current through the winding.

This knowledge has made it possible to make strong magnets, where we can switch between the strength of the magnetic field, which means that we can use very powerful magnets without it having a huge effect all the time.

We think that magnets are magnificent. First of all, the earth is like a big magnet. Furthermore, the use of magnets in the industrial and everyday life has evolved in matters that are very useful to many.

Magnets Breaking Bad

In the popular tv-show Breaking Bad, a chemistry teacher, Walter White, is using his knowledge to “breaking bad” from difficult situations in his life. Together with his partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman, they do criminal stuff in creative ways.

One of the situations in the show is when they use a huge electromagnet to “destroy” evidence on a police station. They drive a truck containing a powerful electromagnet up next to the wall of the evidence room outside the police station. Turning up for the magnetic force, they attract all the magnetic materials, so they can destroy the hard drive on a computer containing evidence.

There is a lot of debate of if this would work. Probably not, but the scene is very funny and creative, and if you haven't seen the clip, you can watch it on youtube by following this link.

Do not try this at home, but there are still a lot of other cool stuff you can do if you want to be creative with magnets. As we often do, we suggest a DIY project that is a little more easy to use in your daily life.

DIY - Tablet on the fridge

Usually, people hang up documents, photos, souvenirs or bottle openers on the fridge. We have made a little Do-it-yourself project to take it one step further. Still not a difficult one.

On our Danish blog, you can watch a little video of how you can hang up a holder for your tablet on either the fridge or a magnetic wall. Watch the ‘Ipad holder for the fridge’ by clicking this link, the video is in Danish, but we have supplied English subtitles below.

First of all, like they try to “destroy the evidence” in breaking bad, we are not sure of all the impacts of magnets and electronic devices. But we recommend not to put magnets directly on your tablet as it may cause problems.

In the video demonstration, there is used to pieces of wood, which is put together and shaped like a holder for the tablet. With two screws, two countersunk pot magnets are attached on the backside of the wood. The magnets used has a strength of approximately 20 kg, due to the lifting of both wood and tablet. See them on this link.

If you want to make sure, that the magnets don't make any scratches on the fridge, you simply need to coat the magnets with rubber coats, but then you need stronger magnets. In the video, we suggest these countersunk pot magnets, just in a rubber shell.

This is a creative way you can make a holder for your tablet or something else to put on either your fridge or your wall, without attaching a magnet directly on the device.

We are always happy to give guidance about DIY projects with magnets. So, feel free to contact us, if you have any questions.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post.

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