How do Magnetic Domains Turn?

Most recent answer: 07/10/2015

Q:
when i searched about magnetic material then come to know that these materials have domain with different direction and cancelling each other but when a magnet is brought near them these domain arranges them self in one direction. my question is that if there is no space between atoms of solid how is it possible for domain to be arranged and make their direction similar. please tell me.
- ajay yadav (age 15)
buxar,bihar,india
A:

It's not that the whole collection of atoms making a domain mechanically turns. The atoms stay where they are. The electron spins (like tiny magnets on each electron) rotate to point new directions when the magnetization changes. 

On the spacing between atoms: Atoms aren't solid objects. They're clouds of electron wave around a little nucleus. The waves don't have sharp edges, and the waves from different atoms overlap. There's always some ability for the wave to squash and distort letting the atoms move a bit. 

There is a tiny effect of the magnetic direction on the favored spacing between the atoms. So when you magnetize something its shape changes a tiny bit. But that's not the main thing going on.

Mike W.


(published on 07/10/2015)

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