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1. A body that has the property of attracting particles of iron, cobalt, nickel, or any of various metallic alloys and that when freely suspended tends to assume a definite direction between the magnetic poles of the earth (magnetic polarity). 2. A bar or horseshoe-shaped piece of iron or steel that has been made magnetic by contact with another m. or, as in an electromagnet, by passage of electric current around a metallic (iron) core. 3. An electromagnet built in a cynlindrical configuration to accommodate a patient in its core, for magnetic resonance imaging. [G. magnes]
superconducting m. a m. whose coils are cooled, usually with liquid helium, to a temperature at which the metal becomes superconducting, effectively removing all electrical resistance.
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