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Q: What causes iron, nickel, and cobalt to be attracted to magnets, but not other metals?
In metals there are two types of electrons: bound electrons and free electrons. The free electrons are free to move between atoms, and are the cause of conductivity in metals. So all conductive metals interact with magnetic fields (otherwise generators wouldn’t work), but not in the “attracted to” kind of way. Answer gravy: “Why do magnets attract each other?” Magnetic fields, like high school students, don’t really want to exist. Here’s a map of the (experimentally found) magnetic properties on the periodic table:
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