Magnetism is a cless o pheesical phenomena that are mediatit bi magnetic fields. Electric currents an the magnetic moments o elementar pairticles gie rise tae a magnetic field, that acts on ither currents an magnetic moments. The maist fameeliar effects occur in ferromagnetic materials, that are strangly attractit bi magnetic fields an can be magnetised tae acome permanent magnets, producin magnetic fields themselves. Anerly a few substances are ferromagnetic; the maist common anes are airn, nickel an cobaut an thair alloys. The prefix ferro- refers tae airn, acause permanent magnetism wis first observed in lodestane, a form of naitural airn ore cried magnetite, Fe3O4.
Awtho ferromagnetism is responsible for maist o the effects o magnetism encoontered in iveryday life, aw ither materials are influenced tae some extent bi a magnetic field, bi several ither teeps o magnetism. Paramagnetic substances sic as alumeenium an oxygen are waikly attractit tae an applee'd magnetic field; diamagnetic substances sic as capper an caurbon are waikly repelled; while antiferromagnetic materials sic as chromium an spin glesses hae a mair complex relationship wi a magnetic field. The force o a magnet on paramagnetic, diamagnetic, an antiferromagnetic materials is uisually too waik tae be felt, an can be detectit anerly bi laboratory instruments, sae in iveryday life thir substances are eften descrived as non-magnetic.
The magnetic state (or magnetic phase) o a material depends on temperatur an ither variables sic as pressur an the applee'd magnetic field. A material mey exhibit mair nor ane form o magnetism as thir variables chynge.