Problem: What is meant by the term diamagnetism? How does a diamagnetic substance respond to a magnetic field?

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We’re asked to give the meaning of the term diamagnetism and to determine how a diamagnetic substance responds to a magnetic field.


Recall that substances (can be a compound or an atom) are classified as paramagnetic or diamagnetic:

  • paramagnetic → substances with one or more unpaired electrons
    • attracted to an external magnetic field
  • diamagnetic  → substances with no (0) unpaired electrons, all electrons are paired 
    • produces its own magnetic field in the opposite direction
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What is meant by the term diamagnetism? How does a diamagnetic substance respond to a magnetic field?