Is Copper Paramagnetic Or Diamagnetic

Copper is a metallic element that has the chemical symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is often found in nature as an ore, where it is used to make everything from building materials such as plumbing and wiring, to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Because copper is so common, it may not seem all that important. However, it serves as a very useful example of how different elements behave as they change their valence electrons to become more stable. Copper will act as either a paramagnetic or diamagnetic metal depending on the type of electron that it has available for bonding with other atoms.
This article explores the properties of copper with regard to its magnetic and diamagnetic properties, so read on if you’d like to know more!

What does magnetic copper look like?

In metals, the atoms have electrons that can be attracted to other atoms by various forces. Copper, for example, has a valence electron in its outer shell that is easily donated to another atom; it also has two other valence electrons in the outer shell that are harder to donate but still available for bonding with other atoms.
If copper has a valence shell electron available for donation and is being exposed to an external magnetic field, then it will behave as a paramagnetic metal. This means that it will continue to undergo an induced dipole moment until the external magnetic field is removed or the excess electron is taken away from it. If copper doesn’t have any valence shell electrons available for donation, then it will act as a diamagnetic metal and no induced dipole moment will be created.
This article explores how copper behaves when exposed to different external magnetic fields and explains how this behavior changes depending on whether or not there are valence shell electrons available for donation.

Diamagnetic copper

As copper has one unpaired electron, it will act as a diamagnetic metal. This means that the magnetic lines of force are perpendicular to the direction of motion and that an external magnetic field will not attract it. Copper is also called diamagnetic because it will always want to become diamagnetic in order to avoid becoming paramagnetic.
Another interesting property of copper is that there is a type of electrical conduction in which electrons flow from one region of a conductor to another, but they cannot move through the wire itself. Therefore, there cannot be any current flowing through copper since no electrons can move from one region to another.

Paramagnetic copper

Copper is a paramagnetic metal, meaning that it can attract magnetic fields. This is because copper has unpaired electrons and electron pairs in its outer shell. The electron pairs are what make up the electrical current that copper conducts along its surface when it is exposed to a magnetic field.
One of the ways that copper becomes paramagnetic is through the process of oxidation. Copper will become more stable with fewer unpaired electrons if it loses two or more electrons to oxygen during oxidation. This means that the greater the number of oxidation states, the higher the value of an unpaired electron; the greater number of unpaired electrons, the more stable copper will be.
Another way to become more stable with fewer unpaired electrons is through donating an electron pair to another atom. For example, if copper donates its pair to oxygen atoms, then it becomes stabilized and has fewer unpaired electrons in its outer shell.

Diamagnetism and magnetic fields – what’s the difference?

The difference between diamagnetism and magnetic fields is actually not very complicated. Let’s say you have a bar magnet, with one end of the magnet pointing North and the other end pointing South. If you were to place that magnet in a room, it would create a magnetic field around it as well as a diamagnetic field. The magnetic field is everywhere and there is nothing separating the magnetic fields from their opposite poles, which means that anything within that room will be affected by those two fields. However, when we use magnets to move things in our everyday life (when you move your fridge magnet around), you are only moving the magnetic force from one pole to the other. That is because any object with an area greater than 0.5 square centimeters will cancel out its own diamagnetic effect due to being part of larger objects or having an area smaller than 0.5 square centimeters (like most of us).

Paramagnetism and magnetic fields – what’s the difference?

The difference between paramagnetism and magnetic fields is that the former is a property of materials that behave as if they possess unpaired electrons, whereas the latter are a result of spontaneous movement in atoms.
Paramagnetic materials are able to move within the Earth’s magnetic field because their unpaired valence electrons effectively act like tiny magnets. This means such materials will experience a net magnetic moment when exposed to an external magnetic field.
On the other hand, diamagnetic substances will resist a change in magnetization because their valence electrons form pairs with each other, which means there is no net change in magnetization within this material. Diamagnetism can be subdivided into diamagnetic ferromagnets and diamagnetic antiferromagnets.

Why is copper a good example for magnetism?

Copper is a good example for magnetism because it has two different types of electrons. One type is bonded with the d-orbitals, and the other type is bonded with the f-orbitals. The d-orbital electrons are paramagnetic and will attract iron, cobalt, nickel, and most metals in its vicinity. The f-orbital electrons are diamagnetic and repel ferromagnetic metals like iron and cobalt.
In other words, copper has four groups of electrons that have different magnetic properties. These properties determine how metal interacts with other materials in its environment. If you would like to learn more about magnetism or dipole moments, this article can help you!

How to tell if copper is paramagnetic or diamagnetic?

If copper is a paramagnetic metal, then it will behave like iron, which is also a paramagnetic metal. This means that it will be attracted to a magnet, but won’t become magnetic itself. In contrast, if copper is diamagnetic, then it will behave like aluminum and will not be attracted to magnets.
A good way to have an idea of whether copper is diamagnetic or paramagnetic is by using an electrometer. An electrometer measures currents in a number of small coils that are connected to either the positive or negative terminals of the measured object. If the coil connected to the negative terminal has no current flowing into it, then the object under test must be diamagnetic. Conversely, if there is a current flowing into this same coil, then the test object must be paramagnetic and act as a magnet for another material with more electrons available for bonding with other atoms such as iron.
Another way to tell if copper is paramagnetic or diamagnetic is by attaching your own magnets onto it and seeing if they stick or not! Copper should attract other metals that are more likely to have more electrons available for bonding with other atoms like nickel or iron because those metals are more likely to act as magnets than copper does on its own.


Copper is a common metal that’s often used in electronics. It’s also an example of a material that has magnetic properties.
Material that has magnetic properties is called paramagnetic, while material that doesn’t have magnetic properties is diamagnetic.

John Mathews
John Mathews

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