Do you think an electromagnet can be used for separating plastic bags from a garbage heap? Explain.

No, electromagnets attract only magnetic substances. Plastic bags are non-magnetic in nature and are not attracted by an electromagnet. Hence, an electromagnet cannot be used for separating plastic bags from a garbage heap.


Electromagnets are made out of a coil of wire (wire curled in series). This is more effective in producing a magnetic field than just a wire running straight.

A few properties of the magnet are as follows:

  • Attractive Property – Ferromagnetic materials like iron, nickel and cobalt are attracted by magnets
  • Repulsive Property – Like poles repel each other while unlike poles attract each other
  • Directive Property – A freely suspended magnet always points in the north-south direction

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