Make Your Own Electromagnet science experiment : Fizzics Education

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Make Your Own Electromagnet

Make Your Own Electromagnet

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

Batteries: one 9V, one 6V, one 1.5V

Battery terminals

One 60cm insulated wire length

One 20cm long Steel rod

Paperclips or measured iron weights

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Materials needed to make an electromagnet showing a roll of insulated red wire, paper clips, a steel bolt and a variety of battery sizes
1 Stripping the insulated wire

Strip 2cm off both ends of the insulated wire

2 Wrapping insulated wire around a steel bolt

Wrap the wire tightly around the iron bar, keeping the wire loops next to each other. Do this at least 40 times!

3 Attaching wires to a 9V battery

Connect the ends of the wire to the battery terminal and connect the battery.

4 Paperclips attracted to a homemade electromagnet

Try to pick up paperclips using the iron bar. How many can you pick up?

5 Picking up paper clips with a homemade electromagnet

Does the size of the battery make a difference on the amount of weight you can pick up?

6 A television screen showing a distance educator running science experiment with a bell jar, vacuum pump and a cup of water. There is an inset of a remote class on the screen and a video conference camera on top of the television.
Live remote classes with experienced distance educators

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Why Does This Happen?

A magnetic field occurs when electricity passes through a wire. This magnetic field surrounds the wire. Wrapping the wire in a tight coil concentrates the magnetic field in the centre of the coil. The magnetic field faces the same direction throughout the iron bar and you can pick up iron objects.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • What happens if you wind the coil of wire the opposite way?
  • What happens when you change the battery voltage (do not exceed 9V)
  • Does the thickness of the wire make a difference?
  • What happens if you use uninsulated wire instead?

Learn More!

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