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I'm having trouble understanding how a magnet (not the field that is generated as a result but the material itself) work. The particles are aligned in a specific direction to give rise to force but I don't see how this alignment gives rise to "attraction" or force.

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There are two wiki links for you. Please read it and focus your question a little bit. And, those particles are electrons. The property is determined by the alignment of the electron spins (unpaired or paired). – Waffle's Crazy Peanut Dec 2 '12 at 10:34
I like this answer to a duplicate question: – Ben Crowell Aug 30 '13 at 21:50

Each electron has spin and it's own magnetic momentum, in sense each electron is just a very tiny magnet by it self, and there alignment makes there forces to be summed up, what makes a global one magnet, when electron mag. moments are chaotically aligned, the average sum is zero and your object will not behave as one big magnet.

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