Which way does a compass needle point if you were at the magnetic North Pole?
At the north pole, for example, if you hold the compass horizontally the needle which is supposed to point north will point south, toward the north magnetic pole. That's not saying much, since at the north pole ANY horizontal direction is south.
But the magnet is the opposite way around to how you might think, with its south pole up near Earth's actual (geographic) north pole and vice-versa. 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.
- Compass needle gets deflected in presence of bar magnet because it is made like that to reflect in presence of magnetism. It gets deflected on earth towards north also because of a huge magnetism of earth.
- The Magnetic North Pole (also known as the North Dip Pole) is a point on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada where the northern lines of attraction enter the Earth. A compass needle rests freely in its casing so it can maneuver itself. When you pull out a compass, it aligns itself with the Earth's magnetic field.
- Attract and repel. If you bring two bar magnets together, there are two things that can happen: if you bring a north pole and a south pole together, they attract and the magnets may stick together. if you bring two north poles together, or two south poles together, they repel and the magnets push each other away.
The black rectangle represents a bar magnet. The magnet's North and South poles are labeled. The other item represents a compass; the red end of the needle is the end that would point towards Earth's North Magnetic Pole. Notice that the red end of the compass needle points toward the south pole of the magnet.
- A north side of the magnet is attracted to the south side of another magnet. However, the north side of the compass points to the north pole, this can only mean that the "north pole" is really the magnetic south, and the "South magnetic pole" is really the magnetic north.
- The Earth is a magnet that can interact with other magnets in this way, so the north end of a compass magnet is drawn to align with the Earth's magnetic field. Because the Earth's magnetic North Pole attracts the "north" ends of other magnets, it is technically the "South Pole" of our planet's magnetic field.
- Every magnet has both a North and a South pole. When you place the North pole of one magnet near the South pole of another magnet, they are attracted to one another. When you place like poles of two magnets near each other (North to North or South to South), they will repel each other.
The needle of a magnetic compass must be made of a metallic substance, which can be magnetized for an extended period of time. The most common substance used for compass needles is steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and a small amount of carbon.
- The magnetic compass was an important advance in navigation because it allowed mariners to determine their direction even if clouds obscured their usual astronomical cues such as the North Star. It uses a magnetic needle that can turn freely so that it always points to the north pole of the Earth's magnetic field.
- To make a compass, start by rubbing a needle against a magnet 50 times in the same direction, which will magnetize it. Next, push the needle horizontally through the piece of cork so that it comes out the other side. Place the cork into a bowl of water and watch as the needle aligns itself to point North and South.
- The Ancient Chinese compass was made from iron oxide, a mineral ore. Iron oxide is also known as lodestone and magneta. The most popular style of the first Chinese compass used a lodestone (which automatically points to the south) and a bronze plate. The lodestone was carved into the shape of a spoon.
Updated: 4th November 2019