Definition - What does Diamagnetic mean?

A Diamagnetic is a material that has a weak or negative susceptibility towards magnetic fields. These materials are repelled by a magnetic field and do not retain the magnetic properties when the external field is removed. In diamagnetic materials all the electrons are paired so there is no permanent net magnetic moment per atom. Diamagnetic properties arise from the realignment of the electron paths under the influence of an external magnetic field. Most elements in the periodic table, including copper, silver, and gold, are diamagnetic.

Petropedia explains Diamagnetic

In order to investigate the magnetic permeability of any material, it is important to first know the classification category of the material. There are three groups of materials in which they can be classified:

  • Diamagnetic Materials
  • Paramagnetic Materials
  • Ferromagnetic Materials

Magnetic Permeability is the approach used to measure the relative strength of a magnetic field inside a material. It is also described as the property of a substance which is equal to the magnetic flux density established inside the material. For instance, a diamagnetic material like bismuth has its permeability slightly less than 1 whereas a paramagnetic material like platinum has its permeability slightly more than 1. However, ferromagnetic materials like iron do not have constant permeability.

Based on this philosophy, geologists try to locate the petroleum reservoirs through diamagnetic levitation. Petroleum reservoirs created by salt domes, which are diamagnetic, weaken the magnetic field of the Earth's crust. Magnetic prospecting instruments mounted in airplanes record variations in the magnetic field, thus helping locate salt domes and oil reservoirs.
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