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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta tt-THC LBTHBMOOE HfAALD Friday, April 8, 1974 Ask Andy MAGNETS Andy sends a complete 20- volume set of the Merit Students Encyclopedia to Paul St Pierre, age 11, of Portland, Maine, for his question: Who discovered the magnet? We tend to think that all magnets, large and small, are manufactured by mankind. If this were so, we might be able to point to who invented them and name the date. Actually, nature has been producing magnets since time began and even the earth itselt is a giant magnet So it comes as no surprise that natural magnets were discovered before the invention of man-made magnets. Natural magnets are black or dark streaky stones, often tound scattered on the ground The mineral, called magnetite, is basically iron oxide, perhaps with 'traces of manganese or magnesium, zinc or several other metals The built-m magnetic quality was added by fierce temperatures during crustal upheavals This is why deposits of magnetite are found with igneous rocks. Through the ages, stray samples have been treed by weathering and strewn around as magnetized pebbles or grams of sand. Also strewn around are meteorites whose metallic atoms were magnetized by searing heat as they fell down through the. atmosphere These assorted natural magnets have been on earth for countless years and no doubt some of our forgotten ancestors discovered their magical qualities before the dawn of history Later, early writers had several versions of how magnets were discovered Pliny of ancient Rome gives the credit to a Greek shepherd boy named Manges The voung shepherd wore tips of iron on his sandals and there were natural magnets on Mount Ida, where he tended his flocks. The magnetic stones clung to his sandals and to the iron tip on his shepherd s crook Until the Middle Ages, these stones were merely fascinating novelties Then the Chinese discovered that a sliver of free swinging magnet points north From this, they invented the magnetic compass In 1269, a French crusader described how to make two types of magnetic compasses One used a magnet swinging on a pivot, the other let it float on a raft m a bowl of water. This magnet observer, Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt, was perhaps the first to make a proper investigation of magnetic properties. He discovered that a magnet has two poles and assumed that this is where its force is concentrated Little more was discovered until the 1500s. This time, the magnetic mystery was tackled by William Gilbert, who happened to be the physician of England's Queen Elizabeth I Gilbert discovered that opposite magnetic poles attract each other and explained that the compass works because the earth itself is a magnet. We cannot say who first discovered a magnet. But we do know that its last inner secrets were not revealed until the 1800s Oersted of Denmark discovered that magnetic force surrounds an electrically charged wire Michael Faraday joined the torces of magnetism and electricity and invented the generator James Clerk Maxwell worked out the math to explain the mysterious relationship of magnetism and electricity Questions asked by children of Herald readers should be mailed to Ask Andy, P.O. Box 765, Huntington Beach, California 92648. (Copyright Chronicle Publishing Co. 1974) Fun with figures By J. A. H. HUNTER Today we have a Magic Square It's an array of consecutive positive numbers arranged in checkerboard style formation so that each row, each column, and each diagonal will all add up to the same magic total In today's square that magic total happens to be exactly one third of the square ot the smallest number in the array, and we have the smallest magic square for which this can be so. What are the smallest and greatest numbers in the square9 (Answer Monday) Yesterday's answer: DRUMS was 57892 (DRUM 5789, Goren on Bridge BY CHARLES H. GOREN TIM CftlUM TntM Both vulnerable. West deals. NORTH 4 A42 V A Q 9 6 3 0 KJ WEST EAST ;