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         Iron is one of the most common elements in the earth. It makes up between 5 and 6 percent of the Earth's crust and a large portion of the Earth's core. It is also one of the three common magnetic metals; the others being nickel and cobalt. For these and other reasons, including its hardness when combined with carbon to make steel, humans have been using iron to make tools, compasses, and other substances for over 5,000 years.
         Iron is a key element for life on Earth, not only because it is an essential element of nutrition but also because of its magnetic properties. It is theorized that the geodynamo that creates Earth's magnetic field is produced by the movement of the Earth's outer core of iron and nickel around the similar material in the inner core, creating immense amounts of electromagnetic energy. This magnetic field is what protects Earth from the radiation called solar wind, and without its magnetic field, Earth could not support life.
         Magnets only repel magnets of the same polarization, and do not magnetically influence non magnetic materials. You can find out by placing a magnet near it and see if the magnet attracts the material. If the material is attracted, it means that the material is magnetic. If the material is not attracted, it means the material is non-magnetic.

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