What is ferromagnetism?
Explain the following with suitable examples:
The substances which can be permanently magnetised even in the absence of a magnetic field are called ferromagnetic substances, and the mechanism is called ferromagnetism.
Ferromagnetism: The substances that are strongly attracted by a magnetic field are called ferromagnetic substances. Ferromagnetic substances can be permanently magnetised even in the absence of a magnetic field. Some examples of ferromagnetic substances are iron, cobalt, nickel, gadolinium, and CrO2.
In solid state, the metal ions of ferromagnetic substances are grouped together into small regions called domains and each domain acts as a tiny magnet. In an un-magnetised piece of a ferromagnetic substance, the domains are randomly-oriented and so, their magnetic moments get cancelled. However, when the substance is placed in a magnetic field, all the domains get oriented in the direction of the magnetic field. As a result, a strong magnetic effect is produced. This ordering of domains persists even after the removal of the magnetic field. Thus, the ferromagnetic substance becomes a permanent magnet.
Schematic alignment of magnetic moments in ferromagnetic substances