How A Compass Works
A compass is a very simple device. The typical magnetic
compass consists of a magnetized needle or card balanced on a nearly
frictionless pivot point. The entire workings are encased in an air tight
fluid filled chamber.
The true beauty of a compass is that no matter what your position is on
the Earth the compass will always point towards the North Pole. So how
does a compass do that?
A compass works by detecting and orienting itself in a magnetic field. The
Earth is magnetized. And on the surface of the Earth exists a very weak
magnetic field - thought to result from rotational forces of liquid iron
in the Earth’s core. You can think of the Earth as a gigantic bar magnet
with a North-South orientation that causes other magnetized objects to
take on the same orientation.
Interestingly, Earth’s “magnetic” North is not the same as its
“geographic” North located at the North Pole, but is slightly to one side.
This deviation from true North means compensation must be made when
calculating actual directions. These compensation factors vary depending
on your location on the Earth and are provided on most maps and
Compasses are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and are widely
used for guidance on land, sea and in the air. Portable compasses are
typically used for finding your way across land. Truly portable compasses
have been combined with keychains. These small, compact and lightweight
compass keychains go where go without weighing you down. We manufacture a
variety of compass keychains that will help you find your way. They are
offered blank or custom imprinted with your name, logo or message.
Customized compass keychains make exceptional personal and business
promotional items for tradeshows, fundraisers, scout groups, camps,
retreats, party favors and more.