The Science of Magnetism
“What are you playing with, Nitin?” asked Eeshan
Nitin replied, “It’s a magnet. My father gave it to me. I was wondering how this attracts or repels the objects towards it?”
Eeshan said, “All magnets exert an invisible force which attracts or repels things. This magnetic force is limited to a region around the magnet. This particular region is called a magnetic field. It is this magnetic field that exerts a force that attracts or repels objects. The field affects other objects along things called magnetic field lines. A magnetic object can repel or attract another magnetic object.”
As they were walking they saw a group of students of another school gather around a drain hole. They were peering inside it as if something had fallen in the hole. Nitin asked, “What’s the matter?”
One of the boys said, “Zubin’s house key fell in the drain and we can’t take it out. It’s a Sunday so there is no janitor or plumber around to help. We tried to take it out by putting our hand in but none of our hands are thin enough to reach inside the drain.”
Eeshan looked at Nitin and said, “Give me your magnet.” He asked Zubin to give his necktie and tied the magnet to one end of it. The hole in the middle of the magnet helped him to secure the knot. Eeshan asked the other children to move back and make some room.
He carefully lowered the magnet into the drain hole, close to the key. The key was metallic so it stuck to the magnet. With patience, Eeshan pulled out the key out of the drain. Zubin was relieved and the children cheered.
“Thank you so much for helping me. I would have been in a lot of trouble. My parents are out of town and I would have been locked out,” said Zubin.
“No problem,” said Eeshan.
All the children then went to the ice cream parlor and celebrated the recovery of Zubin’s key.
“So that’s one thing a magnet attracts? Thanks for showing that to me today,” said Nitin.
Eeshan laughed and said, “Einstein Iyengar will help one and all!”
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