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TEMPERATURE AND MAGNETISM

Study what effect high or low temperatures have on a magnet

Suitable For

Grade 7

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <12 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

Extreme heat can destroy magnetism whereas extreme cold can make a magnetic field stronger. Test the effect extreme temperatures has on soft iron magnets in this science experiment:

Topics covered

Magnetism, Ferrous

What will I need?

  • IRON FILINGS
  • BAR MAGNET
  • 3x IRON NAILS
  • SANDWICH BAG
  • PENCIL
  • PAPER
  • KITCHEN SCALE
  • 2x BOWLS
  • ICE CUBES
  • WATER

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.

A magnet is a metal object of which its electrons are mostly oriented the same way so that it can attract other pieces of ferrous (metal) objects. Certain metals have a structure that allows their electrons to more easily line up and form a magnetic field. By heating a ‘permanent’ magnet, the atoms are excited into vibrations which may change the orientation of the electrons in the magnets.

The electrons become randomly aligned if the permanent magnet is heated long enough. Cold have the opposite effect on magnetism, because cold can have an effect of how fast charged particles move. Cooling a metal can make the motion of the electrons within less random, thus allowing more atoms to line up with each other. This increases the strength of the magnetic field of the magnet.

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