Thats magnet abuse and it can get you in serious never never land. When you hit them with a hammer all the little magnet fairies in the metal get hurt and run away to hide. They cut all of their invisible strings because of their hurt feelings and swear a vow of disownership to the human race. If enough of them do it the entire earth will loose all its magnetism and everyone will float off into space. Be very careful of who you hit with a hammer because you could disrupt our entire way of life and the whole universe. The worst thing for you will be that Apple will sue you because with out the magnet fairies none of their i stuff will work anymore and they will loose all their money and blame it on you.
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Does that mean that if we clap our hands together and say very sincerely, "I do believe in magnets, I do believe in magnets," we can restore the magnetization?
That, and a very generous bribe of extra electrons. They have an addiction for those. The Little fairies hoard them like oil companies hoard dollars.
Large (visible to the eye) magnets consist of multiple magnetic "domains", each one a microscopic crystal. When those domains have their magnet axes aligned (mostly), then the object as a whole will demonstrate a magnetic field. Both heating or mechanical force can cause the domains to reiorient themselves more randomly. If the domains are not aligned, then the net magnetic field will be small.
The same thing happens if you run a Rare Earth magnet across a weaker iron ferrite magnet. The stronger magnet is able to miss align the domains on the iron ferrite magnet.
Um, not necessarily. What you describe is called (no snickering, please!) "stroking" a magnet. In fact, that is a way to magnetize an otherwise non-magnetic piece of iron, or even to increase the strength of an existing soft ferrite magnet. The latter only works if you make sure the relative alignment is right: for example, put the RE's south pole against the side of the ferrite and stroke it towards the ferrite's north pole. Otherwise, as you say, you'll demagnetize it.
(@ Noodles; That's "yes".)