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Type of permanent magnetism that occurs in solids, in which the magnetic fields associated with individual atoms spontaneously align themselves, some parallel (as in ferromagnetism), and others antiparallel, or paired off in opposite directions (as in antiferromagnetism). The materials are less magnetic than ferromagnets, as the antiparallel atoms dilute the magnetic effect of the parallel arrangement. Ferrimagnetism occurs mainly in magnetic oxides known as ferrites. Above a temperature called the Curie point, the spontaneous alignment is disrupted and ferrimagnetism is destroyed, but it is restored upon cooling below the Curie point.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ferrimagnetism, visit Britannica.com.