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# Does a compass needle move?

## Does a compass needle move?

A compass needle points north because the north pole of the magnet inside it is attracted to the south pole of Earth’s built-in magnet. Now if the needle in your compass is pointing north, that means it’s being attracted (pulled toward) something near Earth’s north pole.

## Can you break a compass?

Yes a magnet can damage a compass. The compass needle is a ferromagnetic material. The degree to which a ferromagnetic material can “withstand an external magnetic field without becoming demagnetized” is referred to as its coercivity.

Why does a compass needle spin?

A magnet is what makes a compass point north — the small magnetic pin in a compass is suspended so that it can spin freely inside its casing and respond to our planet’s magnetism.

What makes a compass spin out of control?

So to make it spin, you’d have to generate a magnetic field that changes direction with time. Other than via a magnetic field that changes with time, it is not possible to make the compass rotate continuously.

### What is a compass needle for?

The compass needle is a little steel magnet balanced upon a pivot; one end of the needle, which always bears a distinguishing mark, points approximately, but not in general exactly, to the north,’ the vertical plane through the direction of the needle being termed the magnetic meridian.

### How does a compass needle work?

Essentially a compass is a light weight magnet, generally a magnetized needle, on a free rotating pivot. This allows the needle to better react to nearby magnetic fields. Since opposites attract the southern pole of the needle is attracted to the Earth’s natural magnetic north pole.

How do you magnetise a compass with a needle?

Rub the magnet against the sewing needle at least five times. (If you are using a weaker magnet, such as a flat refrigerator magnet, rub the needle at least a dozen times.) Always rub the magnet in the same direction against the needle. Your needle should now be magnetized.

How does compass needle work?

A compass works by detecting the Earth’s natural magnetic fields. This allows the needle to better react to nearby magnetic fields. Since opposites attract the southern pole of the needle is attracted to the Earth’s natural magnetic north pole. This is how navigators are able to discern north.

## How do you make a compass needle?

DIY COMPASS DIRECTIONS

1. Magnetize the needle. Hold the needle, and take your magnet and stroke it down the length of your needle 50 times.
2. Magnetize the other end with the reverse.
3. Prepare the cork.
4. Insert the needle.
5. Fill a bowl with water.
6. Test the compass!
7. Extra fun!

How can you magnetise a needle?

What can go wrong with a compass needle?

However, some things can go wrong with a compass: the plastic components can break, or the housing can develop a leak. Over time, the fluid within the housing may turn an opaque blue-green. And, very rarely, the magnetization of the compass needle may reverse, so that the south end now points to north.

### How do you make a floating needle compass?

Sturdy Paper (enough to cut out a circle two inches in diameter) Compass (optional, but it’s good to have for comparison) Step 1 – Use scissors to cut a circle out of the piece of paper. The circle should be approximately 2 inches in diameter. Step 2 – Tape a sewing needle in the middle of the circle. Step 3 – Fill a shallow dish with water.

### Why does a compass needle spin at the magnetic poles?

Short Answer: Magnetic compass needles do NOT ‘spin’ at the magnetic poles. A standard magnetic compass is carefully balanced so that it will swing in a horizontal plane. Very expensive magnetic compasses may even have a small counterweight added to keep the indicator horizontal.

How do you make your own magnetic compass?

Fill the bowl half-way with water and float the “compass” on the surface of the water Place the whole “compass” on a flat surface and watch the needle as it tries to align itself with the magnetic fields. The needle should point towards the nearest magnetic pole (north or south) depending on where you live.