Electronics/Magnetic Materials

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The simplest types of magnets are permanent (aka hard) magnets and soft magnets. Permanent magnets retain their magnetization after they are removed from the magnetic field that magnetizes them. Soft magnets lose their magnetization after they are removed from the magnetic field that magnetizes them. This naming came about because in the nineteenth century, when magnetic materials first were studied seriously -- for application to electrical transformers -- it was found that iron, a softer material, was magnetically soft, and carbon steel, a harder material, was magnetically hard.