COMPLETE list of metals' magnetic properties?

I’d like to see a list of all the metals (and non-metals, if that applies) and their classification as to magnetism (ferromagnetic, paramagnetic, dimagnetic, anything else?) – i.e., how they react, or don’t react, to a magnetic field. Everything I’ve found gives a few examples but doesn’t list things like tin and zinc. Can you help me find a complete list?

Are you just asking about elements? For example, do you just want to know about iron, and not all the gazillion different types of steel?


Yes, elements is what I had in mind.

It may also be useful to know specific properties, electromagnetic physics is a large branch with some unsettled science. The electromagnetic force is a fundamental force and effects all particles that are electrically charged. Are you just interested in materials that are permanent magnets?

Ok at a element level you will want to look into quantum electrodynamics (QED) the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics.

If you want a lower subset of properties I may be able to help. But electrical and magnetic fields just different perspectives from the the same fundamental force viewed from another frame of reference. E.G. If you are stationary relative to a field it will be electrical, if you are moving relative to the field it will be a magnetic force.

The interactions of these forces is too complex to create a list but if you wanted a list at the level of say the permeability of wrought iron at 72F that could be done.

Paramagnetism, diamagnetism, and anti-ferromagnetism are all quantum effects that are difficult to try and put into any intuitive form that would work on a list.

But if you are looking for something specific I may be able to provide some assistance.

Okay, I see I’m in over my head here. I’ll try to simplify, because I believe what I’m after is a simple thing.

Here’s a typical thing on the internet:

I missed this one on my first attempt, and it largely answers my question. I’m not really interested in the dozens of odd things like lutetium (whatever that is). But what about zinc, tungsten, magnesium, or lead? Is it safe to assume that non-exotic metals like these that are not mentioned in the above quote are non-magnetic (i.e., don’t respond to magnets in an everyday sense – I don’t care about minor effects that require lab equipment to measure)?

This seems like a pretty complete list. The majority of elements are either paramagnetic or diamagnetic. Zinc and lead are diamagnetic. Tungsten and magnesium are paramagnetic.

Diamagnetism and paramagnetism are difficult to show out of a lab (due to their weakness), though materials with a strong effect can be seen in normal conditions–graphite flakes will hover over a strong magnet. Oxygen has a strong response but you’ll only see it for liquid oxygen.

That’s excellent – it’s what I was hoping for.

On that list (post #7), does “N/A” stand for not applicable (like there’s some atomic reason that magnetic properties are irrelevant for those elements) or not available (like they only existed for .01 seconds in a lab so there wasn’t an opportunity to test for magnetism) or something else?

And where is unobtainium? :smiley:

I’m guessing that it means “non-magnetic;” first, because I don’t see “non-magnetic” anywhere, and some of them must be; and second, in the full stats for each elements, all of the gasses have a Mohs hardness of “N/A,” indicating that a gas has no hardness.

Looking again at that table, it’s a bit strange. Many of the elements are indeed unstable and so no data is available. But take potassium–it’s listed as N/A, but if you click on the element it says “paramagnetic”. So maybe the table is wrong, or maybe it used a different threshold for what it considers magnetic (potassium does seem particularly weak).

I’m not really an expert, but as far as I know it’s unlikely to impossible for an atom to be completely non-magnetic; various opposing factors would have to cancel out completely for the net effect to be zero. So it could be possible to classify all elements as one of the three types, although in some cases the effect may be too weak to be measured.

Well, its all described by permeability, which is often written as Susceptibility so that the difference compared to the permeability of free space is made more obvious.

The one you are missing is diamagnetism. Bismuth displays this. and superconductors are extremely diamagnetic.
most pure elements are so very very weakly magnetic, they are either diamagnetic or paramagnetic where the susceptibility is some tiny amount + or - of free space. 10^-9 of a ferromagnetics susceptibility… tiny…

Ferrimagnetics have much higher susceptibility than the ferromagnetics.

read this for a discussion on permeability vs the various ways to state susceptibility.

All materials are diamagnetic. Some materials are also paramagnetic, and paramagnetism is usually stronger than diamagnetism, so a material that’s paramagnetic at all will usually have a net magnetism on the paramagnetic side. Further, a few materials are ferromagnetic, and ferromagnetism is usually much stronger than paramagnetism or diamagnetism, and so for those materials the paramagnetic and diamagnetic effects are usually ignored.

The only way that a material could be completely nonmagnetic would be if it had particularly weak paramagnetism or particularly strong diamagnetism, such that the two just happened to cancel out exactly. While such a material could be and probably is engineered, it would be highly unlikely for a pure element to behave that way.

Here’s another table of magnetic properties that goes into a bit more detail. Positive means paramagnetic; negative means diamagnetic. Ferromagnetic materials are marked as “ferro.”

There are a lot of inorganic compounds on this list as well, but there do seem to be an awful lot of elements on there, including a few that surprised me. If you want to know what the magnetic susceptibility of technetium is, it’s in there. (It’s paramagnetic.)

Nice question and it seems well answered.

I like diamagnetism and it is a strong enough effect to observe at home if you like. Get a strong permanent magnet, such as a golf-ball sized NIB magnet. If you hold it close above the surface of water in a bowl, and get down low so you can see reflections in the surface of the water, you will see that it is being pressed down away from its otherwise flat shape.

You can also get a chunk of bismuth (some fishing weights are made of it, I hear, or you can just buy some on Amazon or eBay). This is the most diamagnetic element in an overall sense. If you hang it on a long thread and note where it hangs, and then put your magnet near it, you will push it visibly out of vertical. We’re talking its settled, equilibrium position here, not the temporary effect you’ll see with any conductor.