Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts


  • Page ID
  • right hand rule for induced magnetic field
    Figure 1: The "Right Hand Rule" for an induced magnetic field In an atom, the magnetic field is due to the coupled spin and orbital magnetic moments associated with the motion of electrons. The spin magnetic moment is due to the precession of the electrons about their own axes where as the orbital magnetic moment is due to the motion of electrons around the nucleus. The resultant combination of the spin and orbital magnetic moments of the constituent atoms of a material gives rise to the observed magnetic properties.

    Historically, magnetism has been recognized for thousands of years. An account, that is probably apochryphal, tells of a shepherd called Magnes in Crete who around 900 B.C discovered the naturally occurring magnet lodestone (a form of the the spinel magnetite, Fe3O4) in a region later named Magnesia. Supposedly while he was walking over a deposit, the lodestone pulled the nails out of his sandals and the metal tip from his staff.

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Was this article helpful?