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Paramagnetism is a magnetic state where atoms align themselves to an externally applied magnetic field. In the absence of a magnetic field, the atoms do not retain their alignment due to excessive thermal vibration, in contrast to ferromagnetic materials, which do. Consequently, paramagnetism is often observed in heated ferromagnetic materials.

Paramagnetism is due to the presence of unpaired electrons in the material, so all atoms with incompletely filled atomic orbitals are paramagnetic. Due to their spin, unpaired electrons have a magnetic dipole moment and act like tiny magnets. An external magnetic field causes the electrons' spins to align parallel to the field, causing a net attraction. Paramagnetic materials include aluminium, oxygen, titanium and iron oxide (FeO).


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