Out of context: Reply #12

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  • dorf0

    "Every electron, on account of its spin, is a small magnet (see electron magnetic dipole moment). In most materials, the countless electrons have randomly oriented spins, leaving no magnetic effect on average. However, in a bar magnet many of the electron spins are aligned in the same direction, so they act cooperatively, creating a net magnetic field.

    In addition to the electron's intrinsic magnetic field, there is sometimes an additional magnetic field that results from the electron's orbital motion around the nucleus. This effect is analogous to how a current-carrying loop of wire generates a magnetic field (see Magnetic dipole). Again, ordinarily, the motion of the electrons is such that there is no average field from the material, but in certain conditions, the motion can line up so as to produce a measurable total field."

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