Amazon logo Help support MIT OpenCourseWare by shopping at! MIT OpenCourseWare offers direct links to to purchase the books cited in this course. Click on the Amazon logo to the left of any citation and purchase the book from, and MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of all purchases you make. Your support will enable MIT to continue offering open access to MIT courses.

This page presents the readings assigned for each class session, followed by a few background readings.

Most assigned readings are from the course textbook:

Amazon logo Livingston, J. D. Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780674216457.

Lec # Topics READINGS
1 Introduction: Basics of Hard and Soft Magnetic Materials Driving Force. Chapter 1 (facts 1-8), pp. 75-76 (fact 9), pp. 118-119 (fact 10), and pp. 123-129.
2 Magnetic Forces and Curie Temperatures Driving Force. Chapter 10.

Magnetic Levitation
3 Basics of Electromagnetism Driving Force. Chapter 9.

Livingston, J. D. "100 Years of Magnetic Memories." Scientific American 279, no. 5 (November 1998): 106-111.
4 Magnetic Data Recording
5 Superconductivity Driving Force. pp. 239-246.

Handout: Magnetism and the Mind
6 Brain Magnetic Fields
7 Oral Presentations - Part 1 Driving Force. pp. 76-82 and related handouts.
8 Magnets in Cyclotrons, CERN, and Space
9 Oral Presentations - Part 2 Driving Force. pp. 69-75 (Superconducting Electromagnets), pp. 183-85 (Uranium Enrichment), and pp. 227-232 (NMR).

Handouts on NMR in Chemistry
10 Magnets in NMR, EPR, Mass Spectroscopy
11 Ferrofluids Ferrotec's Ferrofluid Technology Overview Web site, or other Web sites on ferrofluids. Magnetic microparticles have also found many uses in medicine, including localized drug delivery (see p. 222 of Driving Force).
12 Wrap-up

Background Readings

Magnetic Materials Overview (PDF)

Livingston, J. D. "The Force Is With Us." In Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future. Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1999, pp. 132-147.

———. "Magnets on the Rise." Technology Review 99, no. 4 (May/June 1996): 33-40.