FINDING DIRECTIONS WITH A MAGNET
When a bar magnet is suspended freely, it always comes to rest in
a north-south direction. This property is used in the construction
of a mariner's compass. This is called as the directional property
of a magnet. Magnets were used from early times to find
the geographical directions.
The magnetic compass is a device that is used by travellers,
navigators to find the direction.
A magnetic compass consists of a fat circular case (or box)
of aluminium or
brass with a glass top.
A small, light, magnetised needle is pivoted at its centre. The
north pole of
this needle is coloured. The base of the case (or box) is
marked with directions.
The north of the compass needle always points towards
north. Therefore by
observing the direction of the needle one can find out the