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Have fun picking up metal objects with your own electromagnet

Suitable For

Grade 7



Time Required

 <2 Days



What’s it about?

In this science experiment you will be learning more about the relationship between electrical current and magnetism by making your own electro-magnet. You will be amazed with how many everyday devices use electromagnets to function, for example: radios, vacuum cleaners, fans, doorbells, cars, loudspeakers, televisions and many more. You can make a simple electromagnet with only a battery, some copper wire and a steel bolt:

Topics covered

Magnetism, Electromagnet

What will I need?

  • BOLT

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

The above experiment works because when electric current flows through an object like a copper wire, it creates a magnetic field around the object. If a wire carrying an electric current is formed into a series of loops, the magnetic field can be concentrated within the loops. The magnetic field can be strengthened even more by wrapping the wire around a core.

Normally, the atoms in something like a piece of iron point in random directions and the individual magnetic fields tend to cancel each other out. However, the magnetic field produced by the wire wrapped around the core, can force some of the atoms within the core to point in one direction. All of their little magnetic fields add together, creating a stronger magnetic field. As the current flowing around the core increases, the number of aligned atoms increases and the magnetic field becomes stronger.

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