With the advent of color televisions and CRT monitors, came the threat of damage that magnets could cause to them. You would keep your electronic items far far away from your electronic gadgets.
Not to mention how your analogue wrist watch used to stop when brought close to a magnet (give it a try if you already haven’t, just for a few seconds).
But, can magnets damage electronic items of today??
Screens & Monitors
Well, magnets are very harmful when brought near a CRT monitor, but LCDs, LEDs & Plasma screens are quite invulnerable to small magnets.
Actually, you will need an industrial-sized magnet to damage your LCD.
Bringing a tiny magnet near a floppy disk will erase its data. But magnets can cause no harm to optical media like CDs & DVDs, Flash memories like pen drives and hard disks of your CPU/laptop.
“A magnet powerful enough to disturb the electrons in flash would be powerful enough to suck the iron out of your blood cells,” says Bill Frank, executive director of the CompactFlash Association.
I brought 10 cubical magnets & half a rare earth magnet near my wrist watch which is both digital & analogue for a few seconds. Result? the analogue needles halted for that brief time, but they started again as soon as I withdrew the magnets. The digital clock? no effect.
So, magnets can halt an analogue watch, but they show no effect on a digital watch. However, long exposure could stop your watch’s analogue mechanisms but its rare for a digital one.
Mobiles, Tablet PCs, cameras & gaming consoles
Mobiles & cameras have LCD screens, so no effect of magnets. They have flash memory, so no damage from magnets even here. Overall, if you need to damage your mobile or digicam, bring a huge & powerful magnet near it.
Don’t forget, mobile covers, Blackberry holsters & iPad 2 covers, they all come with magnets attached, so there is absolutely no harm to them from small magnets.
Vulnerable to magnets
- CRT & TFT screens
- Analogue Watches
- Floppy disks, etc.
Invulnerable to magnets
- LCD, LED & plasma screens
- Blue-ray Disks
- Hard disks
- Digital watch
- Pen drives & flash drives
- Tablet PCs
- Gaming consoles, etc.