What Is the Effect of Cold Temperatures on Magnets?

Heating a magnet to the Curie temperature will deteriorate its magnetic properties.
••• Close-up image of an electric range heating element image by Alexey Stiop from Fotolia.com

Magnets attract certain kinds of metal because they generate fields of magnetic force. Some materials, like magnetite, generate these fields naturally. Other materials, like iron, can be given a magnetic field. Magnets can also be made out of coils of wire and batteries. Cold temperatures will affect every kind of magnet.

Where Magnetic Fields Come From

Magnetic force fields are created by electricity. Every electrical current creates its own magnetic field. The atoms of permanent magnets are full of electric currents lined up to generate large magnetic fields. Electromagnets get their fields from an electric current running through a coil of wire.

Cold and Permanent Magnets

When a permanent magnet is cooled, its atoms don't randomly move as much. This makes them easier to line up and increases their magnetic fields.

Cold and Electromagnets

Electromagnets also increase their magnetic fields in the cold. In their case it is because cold lowers the resistance of the wire, increasing its current.

Superconductor Magnets

Superconducting wire can be used to make electromagnets, which can generate super powerful magnetic fields if their temperatures are low enough.

Considerations

The effect of cold temperatures on magnets is rather small. Even on cold days they are only a few percent stronger.

Related Articles

Science Facts About Magnets for Kids
Demagnetizing a Steel Nail
How Does Heat Affect Magnets?
Why Is Hot Water Less Dense Than Cold Water?
Why Is an Electromagnet a Temporary Magnet?
Test Your Knowledge on Middle School Science
Simple Explanation of Electromagnets
What Is ARCAP Alloy?
Facts About Magnets
Information for Kids About Electromagnets
Most Common Elements in the Solar System
What Are Two Major Characteristics of a Molecular Compound?
How Temperature Affects the Stretch of a Rubber Band
What Causes a Permanent Magnet to Lose Its Magnetism?
Types of Magnets
What Are Bar Magnets Used For?
Three Ways to Magnetize a Nail
Difference Between 316 & 308 Stainless Steel
Factors That Affect the Strength of an Electromagnet
How to Make Electromagnets Repel

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!