concerned asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 6 months ago

# Can you move a compass’ needle with a magnet?

And could you move it with a powerful magnet beneath a table?

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• 6 months ago

Yes you could! A decent compass has a very low-friction bearing so it doesn't take much of a magnetic field to turn it (in fact the earth's magnetic field is relatively pretty weak). A fairly powerful magnet can affect a compass from as far as several feet away!

• concerned6 months agoReport

Thank you, this is very informative! Your name is very fitting

• 5 months ago

Yes. Sorry for the short answer.

• oubaas
Lv 7
5 months ago

For sure ..and quite easily , as long as compass bearings have very low friction

• 5 months ago

Yes and yes.

The compass moves in the direction of any magnetic field.

• 6 months ago

Try it and find out.

• concerned5 months agoReport

I did, but I couldn’t find a powerful magnet (I used one of those refrigerator ones) and I needed and answer soon, so I just asked here.

• ?
Lv 7
6 months ago

Easily. The earth's magnetic field is half a gauss. A small bar magnet can generate 200 times that.

• 6 months ago

Why ask when you can DO yourself.

This is such an easy test. EXPERIMENT is the key to all science.

Not only can a magnet do this, so can ordinary iron or even iron ore.

"Magnetic Island" was named because it deviated Captain Cook's compass.

I had a bad break in my arm when I was 11 years old. A metal pin was put in.

And then on a compass march with the scouts I noticed that I was off line. I was puzzled until I moved the compass to my LEFT arm. Further from the pin.

• Joe
Lv 7
6 months ago

Yes, absolutely.

In fact, this is how I compare magnets, one to another, easily. If magnet "A" starts deflecting a compass needle at a greater distance than magnet "B", then I know that magnet "A" is the more powerful of the two.