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Technical and scientific discussion of amps, cables and other topics.

Rare Earth Magnets

Many people know that CHINA is the worlds #1 source for the rare earths used in many applications including the worlds strongest magnets.

Well, China restricts exports and thereby not only keeps the price UP, but makes less expensive uses non-starters.

I saw on the news / sci channel or discovery or history last nite that a large, open pit mine has been opened in the good ole USA. This is good and will make us somewhat less dependent on the Chinese.

Rare Earths are neat. Each in that series.....Elements 57->71 are not only difficult to tell apart, but have very similar chemical properties. They ALL have 2 electrons in the outer 'binding' shell. Additional electrons are added to vacancies on lower shells, as you go up in atomic number.

One thing I didn't know what that Neodymium is only PART of the magnet to which it gives its name. The majority is good old Iron with a trace of Boron. Both fairly common.

Why is this of even passing interest to a stereo / hifi addict? Well, speakers sensitivity can be predicted from magnet strength and the gap distance. A very strong magnet, very close can make a very sensitive driver, indeed. My poor panels? They use something not any better than refrigerator magnets. I've always wanted a panel with very strong rare earth magnets.

A very sensitive speaker needs far less amplifier, which is an attractive idea to some.

Be careful, you can damage yourself with a 2-magnet 'pinch' if you get in the way! Or, even damage that old CRT TV or Monitor you use in the garage.
Too much is never enough

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Topic - Rare Earth Magnets - pictureguy 15:55:41 04/05/12 (15)


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