Magnetism: Matter or Non-matter?
Is magnetism matter or non matter? Can you give me some proof?
Magnetism is understood to be a property of matter
that is characteristic
of a particular material in a particular physical
state. I'm not sure what kind of proof I can give you
of this, except to remind you that objects can be
magnetized and demagnetized. So this is a property
that comes or goes depending on what state the
magnetizable material is in.
Let me give you some experiments to perform:
First, ask yourself what it means to be 'matter'. One property of matter is
that it cannot pass through solid matter, such as wood, glass, or paper. Try
putting a strong magnet on one side of a piece of paper or cardboard. Does
the magnet affect iron placed on the other side of the paper?
Another property of matter is that it cannot be created or destroyed by normal
means (that is, without a nuclear reaction). For this experiment you will
need a compass (for finding the north pole), a few feet of insulated wire, and
a battery. Strip the insulation from about 1/2 inch at each end of the wire.
Wind the wire around a pencil or some other small cylinder to make a coil.
Place the compass and the coil close together on a table and touch the
stripped ends of the wire to opposite ends of the battery so that current
flows through the battery. Since the coil is essentially a short circuit the
wire will heat up so don't leave it connected to the wire for long (it will
also drain the current from the battery). What happens to the needle of the
Now, do you think that magnetism is matter or non matter?
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Update: June 2012