Permanent Magnets Used in Electronics and Computers
In history, magnets were first mentioned in 600 BCE when Lodestone was discovered. Since then, magnets have had several uses. The most interesting of these uses is the use of magnets in computers and electronics.
Magnets and Electricity
As far back as the 19th century, a link was found between magnets and electricity. A professor at the University of Copenhagen called Hans Christian Ørsted was one of the first people to explore the connection between electricity and magnetism. This particular finding has paved the way for several technological advancements.
Use of Magnets in Electronics
Magnets can be used to generate electricity. Hence both permanent magnets and electromagnets are used in various electronic devices. While some uses of magnets in electronics might sound mundane, others might appear very complex. However, the bottom line is that magnets are important in electronics. Here are some electronics that use magnets.
Magnets generate electric current. As the electric current in the magnet changes, it creates a magnetic field. However, the magnets present in the speaker have a magnetic field that opposes the magnetic field from changing electric current. This leads to vibrations that morph into the sound we hear from the speaker. Did you know that the larger the magnet in the speaker, the louder the sound from the speaker? Now you do.
It might come as a shock to you but magnets are used in making television screens. You might be wondering how. Televisions contain cathode ray tubes which are responsible for the images formed on television screens. These cathode ray tubes depend on the magnetic fields that electrons create. In a nutshell, electrons have to function as magnets for our television screens to display images.
It’s important to note that holding up a magnet close to your television screen could distort the images and permanently damage the screen.
Microwave ovens are simple to use. They bring us comfort and save a lot of time. I bet it has never occurred to you that magnets have a role to play in the function of microwave ovens.
Microwave ovens contain an instrument known as a magnetron. Magnetrons generate microwaves through electromagnetic fields. It is these microwaves that heat the food.
Magnets are used in refrigerator doors. The function of magnets in refrigerator doors might sound a bit mundane. However, it is just as important as the function of magnets in other electronics.
Refrigerator doors usually have magnets in the rubbery slip of the doors. This allows the refrigerator door to stick to the body of the refrigerator when it is shut.
The electric motors used in making vacuum cleaners contain magnets. The magnetic field from the magnets present in the electric motor generates the force that drives the motor. The electric motor then drives a fan responsible for the suction that pulls dirt into a vacuum cleaner.
The magnets used in blenders lose their magnetism once the blender is turned off. The electromagnets in the blender produce a magnetic field. This magnetic field provides the force that propels the motor in the blender.
Use of Magnets in Computers
As electronic devices, computers have close ties with magnets. Some components of computers need magnets to function. Below are some uses of magnets in computers
Hard Disk Drives
Hard disk drives use the principle of magnetism to store data in computers. The hard disk is coated with billions of tiny magnets. The north and south poles of these magnets represent 0s and 1s. Hence, magnets in the hard disk drives create a code that the computer can convert into data.
Just like television screens, magnets can also be used in making computer screens. Most computer screens use cathode ray technology these days. Cathode ray tubes depend on electromagnetic fields to form the images that appear on our computer screens.
Computer components require cooling fans to prevent overheating. If these fans are absent, the computer could malfunction or fail. How do cooling fans make use of magnets? The motors that drive the cooling fans depend on magnetic fields to generate the force required to rotate the motor.
Computers use speakers as well. Just like every other speaker, computer speakers need magnets to function. Opposing forces between the magnetic fields in the speaker produce vibrations. It is these vibrations that generate the sound we hear.
Magnets are integral parts of our electronics. Now that you know them, it’s safe to say that the next time you come across a computer or other electronic devices, it should be easy to appreciate the diverse roles magnets play in their function.
Thank you for reading our article and we hope it can be helpful to you. If you want to know more about magnets, we would like to recommend you to visit Stanford Magnets for more information.
As one of the leading magnet suppliers around the world, Stanford Magnets has been involved in R&D, manufacturing, and sales of permanent magnets since the 1990s and provides customers with high-quality rare earth permanent magnetic products such as neodymium magnets, and other non-rare earth permanent magnets at a very competitive price.