One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The direction in which the north end of a compass needle or other freely suspended magnet will point in response to the earth's magnetic field. It deviates from true north over time and from place to place because the earth's magnetic poles are not fixed in relation to its axis.
- ‘I usually have a sense of intuition stronger than magnetic north, but this time I feel like I'm totally floundering.’
- ‘The compass needle and a knowledge of magnetic declination, the angle between the magnetic north and geographic north, were developments from this knowledge; they were described by Shen Kua in 1088.’
- ‘The magnetic field reverses itself every few hundred thousand years - magnetic north becomes south, and vice versa - and the rock stripes record this.’
- ‘During his expeditions in the Americas and Europe, he recorded and reported on magnetic declination - the angle between magnetic north and true north at a particular location.’
- ‘Oddly, the surveyor used magnetic north in laying out the site, whereas the nearby streets were laid out on a true north bearing.’
- ‘He said: ‘At the moment magnetic north is quite close to true north, but there have been times when it would have been much more difficult to navigate, for example, if you were walking on the hills with a compass.’’
- ‘I've used a handy online calculator to discover that, here in Bow, east London, magnetic north lies approximately 2 ½° west of true north, decreasing very slowly year on year.’
- ‘Nest orientation was then recorded, relative to magnetic north, as the azimuth bisecting the nest opening.’
- ‘Being the true North Pole raises the issue of magnetic north and the difference between them.’
- ‘The orientation of the pyramid is approximately 17 degrees east of magnetic north, in an area where the declination is approximately 2 degrees east, so the actual orientation is around 19 degrees east of true north.’
- ‘Like a compass swinging back around to magnetic north, it appears the American electorate is returning to the same evenly polarized condition that existed on election day 2000.’
- ‘He heard a beep, signal that the beacon had found magnetic north up to the set precision.’
- ‘For all the trees studied, a nail was hammered in at the centre of the trunk-base surface facing magnetic north in order to record the orientation (hereafter referred to as the north point).’
- ‘There had been hopes that the variation of the compass - the angle between the directions of magnetic north and true north - might do the trick, since it was known to vary with position on the earth.’
- ‘This would result in the north end of the rock's ‘compass needle’ pointing toward magnetic north.’
- ‘Your compass works by pointing its needle either towards the planet's magnetic north, or towards the nearest mass of ferrous metal, or else it combines the two effects.’
- ‘Instead of pointing to the geographic North Pole, which is constant, they align with the magnetic north, which changes as molten iron moves within Earth's core.’
- ‘A series of GPs, chiropractors, physiotherapists, masseurs, acupuncturists, osteopaths and eventually a neurosurgeon were finally able to realign me to magnetic north.’
- ‘The sensors were placed onto stands that held them approximately 20 cm above the floor and aligned with magnetic north.’
- ‘I don't care what magnetic north is: north has a very specific meaning for this city, and I want your maps to reflect this.’
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