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Does Temperature Affect the Magnitude of Magnets?

Something is considered magnetic when it attracts or repels an item. Every magnet has two sides, known as poles. When similar poles are near each other, the magnets are repelled; when opposite poles are near each other the magnets are attracted to each other.

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The term "magnitude" refers to the level of strength of a particular magnet. Since not all magnets are created equal, some are naturally stronger than others.

There are four classes of magnets: neodymium iron boron (NdFeB), samarium cobalt (SmCo), alnico and ceramic or ferrite. NdFeB is considered a rare earth magnet and has a higher magnitude than alnico, which is a combination of the three metals aluminum, nickel and cobalt.

Temperature Changes
NdFeB and ceramic magnets are commonly affected by temperature changes, whereas SmCo and alnico magnets are not. When a magnet is exposed to extreme heat it may lose part of its strength, however it should go back to its normal strength when returned to room temperature.

Magnets under Extreme Heat
According to, "If the temperature increases by 100 degrees centigrade, its magnetic flux will decrease by 20 percent."

Magnets under Extreme Cold
Magnets under extreme cold temperatures often increase in strength compared to room-temperature or heated magnets.

At-home Experiment
china magnets Choose a magnet and subject it to various types of temperature changes such as boiling in water or exposing it to dry ice. Measure the magnet's strength by the ability to pick up other magnets, such as lowering it into a bowl of paperclips.

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