How does a compass work? - FamousWhy
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How does a compass work?

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How does a compass work? The magnetized needle of a compass tries to align itself towards the Earth's field of magnetic force. The magnetized needle balances on a pointed pin or floats on oil to allow it to rotate freely and to reduce friction.

A compass needs to be used with care, because if it is near any object that can distort the Earth's magnetic field it will give a false reading. A nearby object made of iron or steel, or any source of electrical power, will cause the compass needle to swing wildly.

The core of the Earth functions like a huge magnet. Lines of force run from the north to the south magnetic poles, and a compass can detect these. The magnetic poles are close to the true poles, but move slightly each year.


Tags: magnetic, earth, compass



Category: Science & Tech  - ( Science & Tech Archive)

Date Added: 13 December '11


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