Lesson Plan: Attraction and Repulsion between Permanent Magnets Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the forces of attraction and repulsion between permanent magnets and what materials permanent magnets can be made out of.


Students will be able to

  • recall that a magnet has two poles referred to as the north pole and the south pole,
  • recall that if two opposite poles are brought near each other, they will attract each other,
  • recall that if two like poles are brought near each other, they will repel each other,
  • recall that iron, steel, nickel, and cobalt can be used to make permanent magnets,
  • recall that bringing a permanent magnet close to unmagnetized iron will magnetize the iron,
  • work out which pole is which for an iron bar that is magnetized by a nearby permanent magnet.


Students should already be familiar with

  • forces.


Students will not cover

  • magnetic fields and field lines,
  • the magnetic fields of currents of moving charges,
  • the effect of permanent magnets on current-carrying wires,
  • induction,
  • calculation of field strengths and directions due to bar magnets,
  • solenoids,
  • paramagnetism,
  • diamagnetism,
  • antiferromagnetism.

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