By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar
Dingy rushed into the room and nearly bumped with the table. Nobody noticed him as everybody was busy playing with MAGNETS.
“Guys!”, screamed Dingy, Lia, Digi and Random looked up startled. “What are you fellows up to?” asked Dingy. “We are experimenting with magnets, come join us”, said all three in unison.
“Okay, but have you guys ever thought how magnet got its name?” asked Dingy, as he settled amongst them.
Lia the jumpy know all fellow, always first to answer said “I know magnets are made from MAGNETITE.”
“And magnets attract objects made of magnetic materials like IRON, COBALT, NICKLE etc,”, added a sober no-nonsense Digi. “But no idea about how this amazing thing got its name”, remarked the clever Random.
“There is a rather interesting story”, said Dingy. “Story time”, all three shouted.
Dingy cleared his throat and started, “Once upon a time in ancient Greece around 800BCE, there was a shepherd called MAGNES. He used to carry a stick whose tip was made of iron and wear boots that had iron nails. One day as he was passing by a rock his stick got stuck to it. He went to take a closer look and stepped on the rock. His boots got stuck to it too. He then left his boot and sticks on the rock and ran to a wise man who lived in the town nearby to narrate his extraordinary find. This wise man was called the Thales of Miletus, regarded as one of the first Greek philosophers and scientists. More about him another day.”
“Well then magnet got its name from the shepherd MAGNES?” burst out an impatient Lia. “That is one possibility Lia. Alternately the name could have been derived from the region that it was discovered from, namely MAGNESIA”, explained Dingy.
“And was that rock a whole big magnet?” asked Random inquisitively. “Yes kind of, the rock was a natural magnet called Lodestone.”
“Wow, that was really interesting, now come Dingy hold this magnet next to mine and lets find out which of their poles are alike?” said Digi.”Yes ! Like poles repel each other!” exclaimed Digi.
It was getting dark outside and Dingy insisted that they pack up for the day. So Random, Digi, Lia and Dingy all left for home with a lovely story and wanting for more, until next time!