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Molecular Theory of Magnetism


The molecular theory of magnetism was given by Weber. According to this theory:

(i)         Every molecule of a magnetic substance (whether magnetised or not) is a complete magnet in itself, having a north pole and a south pole of equal strength.

(ii)       In an unmagnetised substance, the molecular magnets are randomly oriented such that they form closed chains. The north pole of one molecular magnet cancels the effect of south pole of the other so that the resultant magnetism of the unmagnetised specimen is zero. 

(iii)     On magnetising the substance, the molecular magnets are realigned so that north poles of all molecular magnets point in one direction and south poles of all molecular magnets point in the opposite direction.

(iv)       When all the molecular magnets are fully aligned, the substance is said to be saturated with magnetism.

(v)         At all the stages, the strengths of the two poles developed will always be equal.

(vi)       On heating the magnetised specimen, molecular magnets acquire some kinetic energy. Some of the molecules may get back to the closed chain arrangement. That is why magnetism of the specimen would reduce on heating.


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