The Mystery and History of Magnetism

  • Urs Häfeli


This chapter provides a brief introduction to the history of magnetism and its influence on the development of human culture. Magnetic lodestones have been known to mankind for many thousands of years, but not until iron smelting was discovered did the practical applications of magnets become apparent. In earlier times they were used in occult practices and for healing purposes, and eventually came to be employed in the center piece of navigation, the compass. In addition to providing a brief look into these early uses of magnets, an overview of current technical and medical applications of magnets is given.


North Pole Iron Smelting National High Magnetic Field Laboratory Magnetic Levitation Train Compass Needle 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urs Häfeli
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiation Oncology Department T28The Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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