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Electromagnet Investigation

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Electromagnets Coursework

By Samantha price

What is a electromagnet


An electromagnet consists of an iron core with a wire wrapped round it and current

flowing through the wire  

A conductor carrying a current (I) induces a magnetic field.

        This due to the fact that moving charges induces magnetism and the current consists of moving (e )

What are they used for?

Electromagnets are widely used in technology and are the essential components of relays and circuit breakers. Electromagnets are also used in electromagnetic clutches and brakes. In some streetcars, electromagnetic brakes grip directly onto the rails. Very large electromagnets having cores several meters in diameter are used in cyclotrons, and high-power electromagnets are used to lift iron parts or scrap.

This was Found From Encarta

This has helped me so now I see a point in the experiment.  Also people who use the high-powered electromagnet would need to know how to get it high powered.  Keeping in mind current costs money so they may choose to use another way with a lower current.

About Electromagnets


The iron core in an electromagnet is full of magnetic domains, which are randomly pointing anywhere therefore cancelling them out. When an electric current is passed through the coil; this induces a strong magnetic field.

...read more.


Measure the amount of room without the green wire turned on it at each end.

Use the same end of iron core each time.


First I will do a test to see the intervals I should use in the experiment I will see if there is a big enough difference between 0.5 and 1 amps.



I think that the difference between these (0.01) is insignificant and therefore I should do my experiment with 1amp intervals

Gather equipment; green wire, iron core, power pack, circuit ammeter, iron fillings weights that measure to every hundredth of a gram

Turn the green wire around the iron core 15 times then another 15 above.  Leaving 15mm on the right and 50mm on the left end of iron core.

Arrange circuit including electromagnet and ammeter.

When all is set-up without turning the power on see if the electromagnet picks up any iron filings if it does weigh the amount.  If it does this will be because some of the domains are lined up because of another experiment.  

Then put the power up until the ammeter reads 1 amp then place electromagnet in iron filing and measure the mass.

...read more.


Although most of it hasn’t been backed up, “if the current has doubled so will the amount of iron filings that are picked up.”  This is due to the fact the electromagnet became more efficient.

Also this part of my prediction wasn’t backed up, “when the magnetization of the core reaches its saturation level (When all the magnetic domains are turned in the direction of the magnetic field) the increase of current will have little effect on the current.” Even though my results were unable to back this up I still think this will happen if the current was high enough.

Another reason why I would like to increase the current is to be surer about my best-fit line.  As the last 2 results could be anomalies and the best fit line linear.

I think the experiment went well however if I did it again I would:

  1. Make sure residual magnetism wasn’t an issue
  2. Be more firm with variables (for example no iron filings on crocodile clips and no dropping iron filings)
  3. The current was increased so I have a good chance to back up my prediction.

From this experiment I know how companies that use high-powered electromagnet do to make them high powered however I think this is an expensive way so another way may be more appropriate for example amount of turns and surface area of core.

...read more.

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