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Date: 2000-2001

What exactly gives rise to magnetism?

We see generally megnitism in transition metals and their compounds, manganese, iron, cobult, cadmium. Why do specifically d orbital atoms give rise to magnetism?

Since magnetism is caused, in part, due to spin (clearly other considerations such as spin-orbit coupling). d states have 5 potential orbitals with can each "hold" 2 electron states each. Electron states occupy orbitals with a spin up or down configuration. Hence partially occupied states, give a net spin up or down. This is explanation is very much simplified. Similar arguments hold for other transition series, such as the lanthanides and actinides.

Harold Myron

A magnetic field results from moving electric charge. The strongest magnets results from electric charge moving in a circle. If you examine the structure of an electro-magnet, you will see a large number of wires looped in alligned circles.

Every atom has charged electrons spinning around the nucleus. Each orbiting electron produces its own magnetic field. Each atom produces a small magnetic field. In materials such as iron, the atoms can allign their magnetic fields quite easily. This produces a strong magnetic field. Crystal structures do not allow easy reorientation of the atoms, so magnetic allignment is not easy to achieve. In liquids and gases, the atoms are too free to move. They cannot hold the allignment.

Kenneth Mellendorf

Magnetism is caused by the presence of electrons with unpaired spin. The unpairing is temporary [or induced] or permanent depending upon the atom or ion. [71]Lutetium with 15 unpaired electrons is the monarch of naturally occurring magnetic elements.

Vince Calder

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