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I learned a while ago that one can make permanent magnets. Take a very big iron nail, take a hard rock or other hard surface. Place the nail with the point down on the hard surface, where the head points skywards. Take a big hammer and pound on the nail for a long time (1 hour+). The nail will be turned into a magnet. The hammering on the nail shakes up the magnetic alignment of the iron within the nail, where they re-align giving the bottom a negative load and the top a positive load (or perhaps it was the other way around, I can't remember). One question arises of course: Could one make an electric motor using a self-made magnet, with a copper coil around it?

Offered by Michel.