Paramagnetism is a form of magnetism that occurs only in the presence of an externally applied magnetic field. Paramagnetic materials are attracted to magnetic fields and hence have a relative magnetic permeability of â‰¥1 (a positive magnetic susceptibility). The magnetic moment induced by the applied field is linear in the field strength and rather weak. It typically requires a sensitive analytical balance to detect the effect and modern measurements on paramagnetic materials are often conducted with a SQUID magnetometer.
Unlike ferromagnets, paramagnets do not retain any magnetization in the absence of an externally applied magnetic field, because thermal motion causes the spins to become randomly oriented without it. Thus the total magnetization will drop to zero when the applied field is removed. Even in the presence of the field there is only a small induced magnetization because only a small fraction of the spins will be oriented by the field. This fraction is proportional to the field strength and this explains the linear dependency. The attraction experienced by ferromagnets is non-linear and much stronger, so that it is easily observed, for instance, in magnets on one's refrigerator. (WikiPedia)