What is paramagnetism?

1 Answer
Jul 6, 2017

Weak attraction to magnetic fields caused by the presence of unpaired electron spins.


Unlike paired electrons, whose spins effectively "cancel each other out" in polarity terms, unpaired electrons exhibit a net dipole moment and therefore behave a bit like miniature magnets.

So in the presence of a magnetic field they tend to align parrellel to it, which results in an overall attraction to the field.

That's it in simple terms.

Oxygen is an example of a paramagnetic element, as is gold, aluminium and titanium. Iron (II) oxide (FeO) is also paramagnetic.