Take fe magnetite (Fe2+Fe3+2O4). If I'm right most magnets can exist because the metals have an unpaired electron in their orbitals so these unpaired electrons are aligned to create a permanent magnet. I'm not sure but the unpaired electron comes from Fe3? Now there a more molecules with unpaired electrons which are not magnetic, so what causes magnetite to stay magnetic? Is this due to the shape of this molecule?

The other answers were really general (because of difficulty). But to go one time deeper into it I'd like to know a bit more for magnetite (Fe2+Fe3+2O4) how this (natural magnet) molecule is so permanent. So the inner foreces like exchange 'forces' are involved but what is meant by them?


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