Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Simple, Utterly Perplexing Mystery of Magnets

How does a magnet work? Here's the best answer science has: it just does. This according to a recent write-up at DiscoverMagazine.com.

Legend has it that Albert Einstein's scientific curiosity was first inspired by gazing at a compass (which is driven by magnetes). He said this was the first time he realized there was "something behind things, something deeply hidden." He would go on to find many of the hidden stuff behind things. But magnetism was a puzzle he never solved.

According to the Discover piece, "nobody knows how a magnet can move a piece of metal without touching it." The author refers to this as "embarrassing" for modern physics. And how. Despite the gap in knowledge, marvels the article, "nobody seems to care."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.