Min Ault

Min Ault

Published: 11 Sep 2023

Source: Thoughtco.com

Paramagnetism is a fascinating phenomenon that plays a crucial role in the field of chemistry. It refers to the ability of certain materials to become weakly magnetized in the presence of an external magnetic field. This property is a result of the alignment of unpaired electrons in the atoms or molecules of the material. While paramagnetism is not as strong as ferromagnetism, which is exhibited by materials like iron, it still holds great importance in various scientific applications.

In this article, we will explore 17 extraordinary facts about paramagnetism that will not only ignite your curiosity but also deepen your understanding of this intriguing magnetic property. From its discovery to its diverse applications in industry and research, we will delve into the captivating world of paramagnetism and its impact on the field of chemistry.

Table of Contents

What is Paramagnetism?

Paramagnetism is a phenomenon in which materials are weakly attracted by an external magnetic field due to the presence of unpaired electrons in their atomic or molecular orbitals.

The Paramagnetic Effect

Paramagnetic materials have a positive magnetic susceptibility, which means they become magnetized in the direction of an applied magnetic field.

Not All Materials are Paramagnetic

While some elements, such as oxygen and aluminum, are paramagnetic, others, like copper and gold, are not affected by magnetic fields and are diamagnetic.

Transition Metal Complexes

Transition metal complexes often exhibit paramagnetism due to the presence of unpaired electrons in their d-orbitals.

Curie’s Law

Paramagnetism follows Curie’s law, which states that the magnetic susceptibility of a paramagnetic material is inversely proportional to its absolute temperature.

Liquid Oxygen is Paramagnetic

Oxygen gas is paramagnetic, but when it liquefies at extremely low temperatures, it becomes even more strongly paramagnetic.

Paramagnetic Imaging

Paramagnetic contrast agents are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to enhance the clarity of images by affecting the relaxation times of nearby water molecules.


Paramagnetism plays a crucial role in biomagnetic systems such as the detection of biological molecules and the movement of ions in living organisms.

Magnetic Levitation

Paramagnetic materials can be used in magnetic levitation applications, allowing objects to float above a magnetic field without any physical support.

Paramagnetic Rocks

Certain rocks, such as magnetite and lodestone, exhibit paramagnetism and can naturally align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field.

Paramagnetic Ions

Transition metal ions, such as iron and manganese, are frequently paramagnetic due to their unpaired electrons and play essential roles in biological processes.

Paramagnetic Chemistry

Paramagnetic compounds find applications in various chemical reactions, including catalysis, as they possess the ability to interact with other molecules through their unpaired electrons.

Magnetic Susceptibility

The magnetic susceptibility of a paramagnetic material is directly related to its molar mass and the number of unpaired electrons present.


Paramagnetometry is a technique used to measure the magnetic susceptibility of materials and provide insights into their electronic and magnetic properties.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Paramagnetic ions are utilized in magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the structure, dynamics, and interactions of molecules in solution.


When paramagnetic particles reach nanoscale sizes, they exhibit superparamagnetism, which has exciting potential in a wide range of fields, including data storage and biomedical applications.

Paramagnetism in Crystals

Crystals with paramagnetic properties have unique magnetic properties that can be harnessed for various electronic and magnetic applications.

Now you have discovered the incredible world of paramagnetism! These 17 extraordinary facts about paramagnetism showcase its diverse applications and intriguing properties. From magnetic levitation to biomagnetism, paramagnetic materials continue to intrigue scientists and drive advancements in various fields.


In conclusion, paramagnetism is a fascinating phenomenon that is found in various substances. Its ability to be attracted to magnetic fields, albeit weakly, has important applications in fields such as chemistry and materials science. By understanding the underlying principles of paramagnetism, scientists have been able to develop innovative technologies and materials.Throughout this article, we have explored 17 extraordinary facts about paramagnetism. We have delved into its origins, properties, and applications. From its discovery by Faraday to its role in MRI machines, paramagnetism continues to captivate researchers and lay the foundation for further advancements.As we continue to unlock the mysteries of paramagnetism, we can expect to see even more incredible discoveries and applications in the future. Whether it is in the development of new materials or the improvement of medical imaging techniques, the unique behavior of paramagnetic substances promises to leave a lasting impact.


1. What causes paramagnetism?

Paramagnetism is caused by unpaired electron spins within atoms or molecules.

2. Can all substances exhibit paramagnetic behavior?

No, not all substances exhibit paramagnetic behavior. Only substances with unpaired electron spins can be paramagnetic.

3. How is paramagnetism different from ferromagnetism?

Paramagnetism is a temporary form of magnetism that is induced in a substance when it is placed in an external magnetic field. Ferromagnetism, on the other hand, is a permanent form of magnetism exhibited by certain materials even in the absence of an external magnetic field.

4. Are paramagnetic substances attracted or repelled by magnetic fields?

Paramagnetic substances are attracted to magnetic fields, although the attraction is relatively weak compared to ferromagnetic substances.

5. Can paramagnetism be utilized in any practical applications?

Yes, paramagnetism has numerous practical applications. It is used in technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), where the behavior of paramagnetic substances is leveraged to create detailed images of the human body.

6. Can paramagnetic substances be used in data storage?

Yes, paramagnetic materials have been explored for potential use in data storage, as they can be manipulated by magnetic fields.

7. How is paramagnetism important in chemistry?

Paramagnetism is important in chemistry as it provides insights into the electronic structures and bonding properties of substances. It also plays a role in various chemical reactions and catalysis.

8. Are there any everyday examples of paramagnetic substances?

Yes, there are everyday examples of paramagnetic substances, including oxygen gas, aluminum, and platinum.