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Magnetism is one of the earliest of the physical phenomena and materials characteristics observed in nature and subjected to scientific study. The dramatic effect of the attraction of iron by lodestone (primarily magnetite, Fe3O4 with inclusions of maghemite, cubic Fe2O3) is perhaps the historic beginning of magnetism. Even though great insights into magnetism, its relation to electricity (electromagnetism) and the quantum theoretical formulation have been achieved over the last two centuries, a rigorous understanding of the microscopic origin of the magnetic field and the question of magnetic monopoles continue to pose challenges. After a brief overview of the different kinds of magnetic materials, this chapter provides a closer look at the fundamental aspects of dia- and paramagnetism, followed by a discussion of cooperative magnetic phenomena and notes on the experimental measurement of magnetic susceptibility.

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