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The presence of ferromagnetic material between a magnet and an object can act as a magnetic screen if it is a thin layer placed across the path of the field however if it is placed along the direction of the field the induced poles in the material can effectively increase the field at a distance from the magnet
I was doing a couple experiments using the magnets around my house, and there was one experiment I did not get. This is how it works. I had a permanent magnet on a smooth table. I also had some paperclips, and a piece of ferromagnetic material (the metal on a pair of scissors). What I did is I put the scissors next to the magnet and saw how the scissors would affect the strength of the magnetism. I could see how the strength of the force would change by moving the magnet slowly towards the paperclip to see how close I could get before the paperclip flew over to the magnet. What I found was that, if you put the metal "behind" the magnet, meaning the metal was on the opposite side of the magnet in relation to the paperclip. So oriented in this way paperclip(left) magnet(middle) metal(right). When I did this I got the result I was expecting, this increases the strength of magnetic force, the magnet could pull the paperclip a further distance, than if there was no metal behind it. However when you do the inverse of this experiment, when you put the metal in between the magnet and the paperclip. It doesn't increase the strength of magnetism, it reduces it. The magnet can get even closer to the paperclip than if the metal wasn't there at all. Why does this happen?