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Magnetic Mystery (Posted on 2005-01-25) Difficulty: 2 of 5
You have two identical looking metal bars. One of them is a magnet, with North and South ends. The other is simply an iron bar (which is attracted by magnets).

How can you tell which is which, using only these two bars?

  Submitted by nikki    
Rating: 3.4000 (5 votes)
Solution: (Hide)
Make a "T" shape with the two bars such that the end of one touches the middle of the other.

Since the middle of the magnet is neutral, touching the end of the iron bar to the middle of the magnet will not produce any force of attraction.

But touching the end of the magnet to the middle of the iron bar will produce a force of attraction.

So when you make a T shape, whether or not the bars are attracted to each other will tell you which is which.

There are other solutions in the comments, but I can't vouch for their validity =)

Comments: ( You must be logged in to post comments.)
  Subject Author Date
solutionSachin2005-02-28 17:54:20
ansewerkiersten2005-02-06 22:00:56
re: easy option?Nosher2005-01-31 03:17:21
easy option?Murray2005-01-27 11:14:56
Other methodsHugo2005-01-26 20:42:39
Some ThoughtsWell...Daniel2005-01-26 19:43:14
re: tryPenny2005-01-26 10:17:33
Some Thoughtssolution, maybeandrei2005-01-26 08:45:49
tryjason2005-01-26 06:49:06
No SubjectStephen S.2005-01-25 21:39:59
re(2): Reply to JohnJohn2005-01-25 17:09:56
re: Reply to JohnJohn2005-01-25 17:08:36
re: Reply to JohnPenny2005-01-25 17:04:26
Reply to JohnPenny2005-01-25 16:55:28
re: SolutionJohn2005-01-25 16:24:20
I'll take a shot at itJohn2005-01-25 16:06:37
SolutionSolutionPenny2005-01-25 15:47:44
SolutionFletch2005-01-25 15:30:29
SolutionEASY does itAdy TZIDON2005-01-25 13:59:27
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