Magnetic materials exhibit unique behavior when subjected to an external magnetic field, a result of the arrangement of charged particles within the material. Let's delve into the three primary categories of magnetic materials:
1. Diamagnetic Materials
Diamagnetic materials are minimally magnetized when placed in a magnetic field. Their magnetic dipoles align in opposition to the applied field, creating an internal field that repels the external magnetic field. Examples include gold, water, mercury, and even some animals. Noteworthy is that the opposing field disappears once the external field is removed.
2. Paramagnetic Materials
Paramagnetic materials exhibit stronger magnetization than diamagnetic materials. Their magnetic dipoles align along the applied magnetic field, reinforcing it. These substances are attracted by a magnet when a sufficiently strong field is applied. Examples include liquid oxygen, sodium, platinum, and salts of iron and nickel. The magnetization (M) of paramagnetic materials depends on the external magnetic field (B) and temperature (T): M = C * (B/T) (where C represents the Curie constant).
3. Ferromagnetic Materials
Ferromagnetic materials exhibit the strongest magnetic behavior. Their magnetic dipoles form domains, where individual dipoles align perfectly to create strong magnetic fields. Normally, these domains are randomly arranged, resulting in overall cancellation of magnetic effects. However, when an external field is applied, the domains reorient to reinforce the field, producing a strong internal magnetic field. Even after removing the external field, most domains remain aligned. Examples include iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni).
Applications and Importance
Diamagnetic Materials
Although weakly magnetic, diamagnetic materials find applications in levitation (e.g., magnetic trains) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their repulsion behavior is exploited in scientific experiments.
Paramagnetic Materials
Paramagnetic materials contribute to technologies like MRI contrast agents and magnetic sensors. They play a role in studying crystal structures and electronic properties.
Ferromagnetic Materials
Ferromagnetic materials are the backbone of permanent magnets used in motors, generators, and magnetic storage devices. Their stability and strong magnetization make them indispensable in various industries.

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