Snap, Crackle & Pop
Rice Krispies
Crumpling Paper

Magnets Crackle!

Ever hear a magnet crackle? Neither have I.

What do we mean by ``crackling noise'' in magnets? Paper makes crackling noise when we crumple it into a ball. As we squeeze it, it crumples in a lot of jumps, some big, some small. Each jump is where a small part of the paper bends or jumps into a new place, and gives off a single crackle sound.

If squeezing paper makes it crackle, what do we do to a magnet to make it crackle? We magnetize it!

Paper Clips

Magnetizing Experiment

Get a magnet and some paper clips. (The magnets used to hold lists on refrigerators are often very strong.) Can you pick up paper clips with the magnet? Can you pick up the paper clips with other paper clips?

Most paper clips are made of iron. Magnets pull on things made of iron.

Now, rub a paper clip with the magnet. Can you pick up other paper clips with it now?

The iron in the paper clip can become a magnet too: the paper clip is magnetized by rubbing it with the magnet. It doesn't magnetize all at once though: when you rub it longer, it gets more magnetized and picks up other paper clips better and better.

Did you listen carefully when you were rubbing the paper clip? I bet you still didn't hear any crackling noise!

The Gutenberg Richter Law Magnetic Tapes