Uses of Magnets

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Uses of magnets in daily life can be found in numerous electronic devices, like television, radios, microwaves, and much more.

Magnets are devices that are both permanent and temporary.  The uses of magnets in everyday life vary on its type. 

A material that does not rely on electricity to retain its magnetism is the permanent magnet, while the magnet that loses its magnetic attribute is the temporary magnet. The practical uses of magnet can be found in hard disk, motors, generators, etc. 

On this page, we will understand what are the practical uses of a magnet in our everyday lives.

What is the Use of Magnet?

There are two types of magnets with uses of magnets in daily life are:

  • Electromagnets

  • Permanent magnets 

So, what are the important uses of a magnet of each type? Let’s understand these one-by-one:

Uses of Electromagnets 

Electromagnets are temporary magnets that work under the influence of the applied electric current only. The special part of such magnets is, we can alter the strength of the magnetic field by varying the electric current and also change its polarity by altering the direction of the electric current. 

Uses of Electromagnets are Found in the Following Areas: 

  1. Generators 

  2. Motors

  3. Transformers

  4. Electric buzzers and bells

  5. Headphones

  6. Loudspeakers

  7. Relays and valves

  8. Data storage devices: VCRs, tape recorders, hard discs

  9. Induction cooker

  10. Magnetic locks

  11. MRI machines

  12. Particle accelerators

  13. Mass spectrometers

We also find the use of electromagnet is joining two bogies of a train, in a crane (JCB) to carry waste yards, and in service centers and garages to lift heavy vehicles, etc.

The theory of electromagnetism applies to the following domains: 

  • Electrostatics

  • Magnetic fields of slow and steady currents

  • Motional e.m.f. and EMI

  • Maxwell's equations

  • The propagation and radiation of EMW

  • Electric and magnetic properties of matter, and 

  • Laws of conservation

Uses of Permanent Magnets

Permanent Magnet: uses of magnets in our daily life can be found in the following areas/objects:

  1. Speakers

  2. Headphones/earphones

  3. Mobile phones

  4. Cars

  5. Generators

  6. Television

  7. Transducers

  8. Hard drives

  9. Sensors

Practical Uses of Magnets

Let’s list some uses of magnets:

The first two uses of magnets are:

A. Electromagnets

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1. in Home Appliances

Most of the electric appliances that we use in our homes work on the basic principle of electromagnetism. Some uses of electromagnets in the home include the following:

  1. electric fan

  2. electric doorbell

  3. induction cooker

  4. magnetic locks. 

So, what is the use of a magnet in an electric fan and doorbells?

In an electric fan, the EMI keeps the motor rotating and makes the blade of the fan rotate. 

However, in an electric doorbell, when we press the button, the electromagnetic force of the coil gets energized and the bell sounds.

2. in Medical Field

An MRI or magnetic resonance imaging let’s your doctor see the organs, bones, and tissues inside your body without having to do surgery. So, the MRI works on the principle of electromagnetism.

Further uses of magnets in our daily life: electromagnets are:

3. in Memory Storage Devices 

The data or information in electronic gadgets and phones are stored in the electromagnetic format in the form of bytes and bits. 

4. in Computer Hardware

Computer hardwares also has a magnetic tape that works on the electromagnetism principle.

5. In devices like Electric fans, electric bell, telegraph, debit cards, credit cards, etc.

Do You Know?

In the olden days, electromagnets were mostly used in the data storage of VCP and VCR.

6. in Communication Devices and Power Circuits

Without electromagnets, the mobiles phones we use to communicate with our people around the world could not have taken shape. The electromagnetic pulses and the interaction of the communication signals make the mobile phones and telephones very handy.

B. Permanent Magnets

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There are endless uses of permanent magnets; some practical uses of magnet are:

  1. Door Magnets (magnets preventing door from closing itself)

  2. Magnetic Name tags, 

  3. Magnetic Jewelry

  4. Magnetic Clasps

  5. Magnetic Water Treatment

  6.  Magnetic Filter

  7. Adhesive Magnets

  8. Magnetic Pickup Tools

  9. Magnetic Knife Holder

  10. Magnetic Tray

  11. Compass

  12. Magnetic Toy

  13. Maglev Train

  14. Induction Cooker

  15. Telephone

  16. Cell Phone

  17. Clocks

  18. Scientific instruments

The rest three uses of magnet: permanent magnets are:

1. in Refrigerators

One of the most important uses of permanent magnets is found in closing the door of a refrigerator. The gasket of the refrigerator that seals the door closed has a thin inner magnetic strip, which is a permanent magnet.

2. in Automobiles

Hybrid and electric vehicles use powerful permanent magnets. Magnets used in these automobiles are made of materials with a high proportion of rare earth permanent magnets, which are both expensive and in limited supply.

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3. in Jewelry

Jewelry like bracelets, earrings, necklaces and beads are made of permanent magnets because these magnets help in keeping jewelry clasped closed.

Do You Know?

Permanent magnets are also used in tools like screwdrivers?

Screwdrivers attract the screws, they are handy when dealing with small screws or hard to reach places.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. List Three Properties of Both Electromagnet and Permanent Magnets.

Ans: The three properties of permanent and electromagnets are as follows:


  1. The magnetic effect of electromagnets can be utilized by switching on the current when needed.

  2. Electromagnetism is the combination of both electricity and magnetism and the interaction between them.

  3. The magnitude of the magnetic field can be increased or decreased by altering the magnitude of the electric field.

Permanent Magnets

  1. Permanent magnets remain permanent until they get demagnetized because of various factors.

  2. Magnetism deals with magnetic fields and magnetic forces.

  3. In permanent magnets, the magnitude of the magnetic field cannot be altered, i.e., increased or decreased by altering the magnitude of the current supply, as it remains the same forever.

2. List one Practical Application of an Electromagnet.

Ans: Modern telephone systems are based on the system of reed relay, together with solid-state circuits for complicated routing of connections. 

The telephone receiver is an electromagnet with a U-shaped yoke having coils wound on each leg of the U. Passage of the electrical signal through which the coils generate magnetic attraction of a soft-iron diaphragm supporting a small distance from the ends of the U-passage. The diaphragm is deflected by an amount proportional to the magnitude of the current in the coil and generates sound waves as it moves to-and-fro; this is how communication with people worldwide has taken shape with the help of electromagnets.

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