What is the magnetization curve?

The magnetization curve, also called the hysteresis curve, is an important tool for characterizing the magnetic behavior of a material. It describes the relationship between the magnetic field strength applied to a material and the resulting magnetization of the material.

How does the magnetization curve work?

The magnetization curve is usually created for ferromagnetic materials, as these materials have a pronounced magnetic response. Ferromagnetic materials have an intrinsic magnetic order in which the magnetic moments of the atoms or molecules in a particular region are aligned in parallel and form magnetic domains.

The magnetization curve is created by a measurement process in which a magnetic field strength is gradually increased or decreased while the resulting magnetization of the material is measured. This typically involves a closed loop, giving rise to the term hysteresis curve. The term hysteresis refers to the fact that the magnetization of the material depends not only on the current magnetic field, but also on the previous magnetization history.

The magnetization curve usually shows an S-shaped or curved form. When an increasing magnetic field is applied, the magnetization of the material begins to slowly increase until it finally reaches a saturation value. This saturation value represents the maximum magnetization that the material can reach.

When the magnetic field is reduced, the magnetization curve follows a different track, with the transition point to the decrease in magnetization being called the coercivity. The material retains some residual magnetization even with a lower external magnetic field.

The shape and extent of the magnetization curve can depend on various factors, including material composition, structure and temperature. The magnetization curve provides important information about the magnetic properties of the material, such as the remanence, coercivity and permeability of the material.

Where is a magnetization curve used?

The magnetization curve has numerous practical applications. For example, it is used in material characterization, the development of magnetic components and in the investigation of magnetic storage media such as hard disks and magnetic tapes. In addition, it is also very important for the development of magnets, sensors and electric motors.