Magnetism is closely related to electricity. In essence, magnetism is a force caused by moving charges. In the case of permanent magnets, the moving charges are the orbits of electrons spinning around nuclei. In very basic terms, strong permanent magnets have many atoms with electrons spinning in the same direction. Non-magnets have more random arrangements of electrons spinning around the nucleus. For electromagnets, the current itself provides the moving charges. In all cases, magnetic fields can be used to describe the forces due to magnets.


  1. Explain that magnetism is caused by moving electrical charges.
  2. Describe the magnetic poles and interactions between magnets.
  3. Use a compass to determine the direction of the magnetic field.
  4. Locate the magnetic North and South pole of the Earth.
  5. Describe the factors affecting an induced potential difference due to magnetic field lines interacting with moving charges.
  6. Describe the three right hand rules for magnetism.
  7. Calculate the force exerted on a charge moving through a magnetic field.

Topics of Study

  1. Magnetic Fields
  2. The Compass
  3. Electromagnetism


Video Tutorials

  1. Magnets and Magnetic Fields
  2. The Compass
  3. Electromagnetism
    1. PSSC: Magnet Laboratory
    2. FedFlix: How Magnets Produce Electricity
    3. FedFlix: DC Motors and Generators
    4. FedFlix: AC Motors and Generators