What is a horseshoe magnet?

When the term horseshoe magnet is mentioned, most people first think of their own science lessons in school. In those classes, the classic red and green horseshoe magnet is part of the basic equipment of every science laboratory.

The magnet's curved legs can be used to impressively illustrate the magnetic field. As a horseshoe magnet is also particularly strong, it is often the first choice for teachers when it comes to procuring teaching materials. Using a horseshoe magnet, iron filings and a simple sheet of paper, magnetic phenomena can be demonstrated in class. Another advantage of a horseshoe magnet is that its shape prevents demagnetization, since the coercivity is strongest in a horseshoe shape.

Who invented the horseshoe magnet?

The horseshoe magnet was invented by William Sturgeon, a British scientist who experimented with a piece of iron in the shape of a horseshoe and copper wire to create the first electromagnet. With his simple horseshoe magnet, Sturgeon laid the foundation for further research on the electric telegraph as well as other innovations in global telecommunications technology. This is probably also why the horseshoe shape is the best-known symbol for magnets worldwide today.