A magnetic compass is a laboratory apparatus used for determining the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. It consists of a small, lightweight magnet that is suspended on a pivot, with a graduated circular card marked with the points of the compass.
To use the magnetic compass, the compass is held horizontally and allowed to rotate until the magnet aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field, which causes the needle to point towards magnetic north. The direction of the needle can be read off the graduated circular card, which is marked with the points of the compass.
Magnetic compasses are commonly used in navigation, both on land and at sea, to determine the direction of travel and to navigate using a map. They are also used in scientific research, for example, to measure the strength and direction of magnetic fields.