Dec 30, 2015
So I understand the difference between diamagnetic and paramagnetic materials. But when looking at the examples, I am a bit confused.

From my understanding:

Diamagnetic - all electrons are spin paired so there is no net internal magnetic field, it does not like to be in the presence of an external magnetic field and moved away from an area with strong magnetic field to an area with weak magnetic field

Paramagnetic - there are unpaired electrons, with a net internal magnetic field and as such, it responds to an external magnetic field by aligning the dipole of individual atoms to form a magnetic domain

Ferromagnetic - strong case of paramagnetism where the dipoles stay aligned even if the external magnetic field is removed

How is Bismuth diamagnetic? It has 6p^3 meaning there are 3 unpaired electrons in the p orbital. based on the definitions above, it should be paramagnetic.

How is Calcium paramagnetic? Is have 2 electrons in its s orbital so they are spin paired?

How do you tell if a molecule is diamagnetic or paramagnetic? Like CaCl2 is paramagnetic.

Can someone explain how to determine if something is diamagnetic or paramagnetic? And please go through some examples.



The Little Prince
May 20, 2016
Well magnetism is a complex phenomenon and can't be explained by "rules," which is to say that most textbook explanations are very limited (if not BS).

To your last question, you just put a magnet close to "something" and see how it will react.

To your previous questions, it is because of their crystal structures in solid form. The details I don't know :/