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Magnetism is a property of matter that is a result of the orbiting electrons in atoms. The orbiting electrons cause the atoms to have a magnetic moment associated with an intrinsic angular momentum called spin.
Magnetic field strengths are measured in tesla (T), a derived SI unit. The equivalent, and superseded, cgs unit is the gauss (G); one tesla equals 10,000 gauss. The earth's magnetic field is about 31 microtesla. The strength of electromagnets used to pick up cars in junk yards is about the static field strength of most MRI machines (1.5-2.0 T).
You will run across four terms describing the magnetic properties of materials, such as contrast agents, used on MRI. These terms are: