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Investigate four factors that may affect the strength for electromagnets: the number of turns, the size of the current, the nature of the current (a.c. or d.c.) and the distance between the sensor and the magnet.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Strength of electromagnets

Design

Research question

Investigate four factors that may affect the strength for electromagnets: the number of turns, the size of the current, the nature of the current (a.c. or d.c.) and the distance between the sensor and the magnet. This experiment will be divided into 4 parts investigating each of the 4 factors.

For each part, the independent variable is one of the 4 conditions (the number of turns, the size of the current, the nature of the current (a.c. or d.c.) and the distance between the sensor and the magnet). The dependent variable is the strength received by the sensor. The controlled variables will be the room temperature and the other three factors.

Materials and methods

The materials I used are a magnet, a long copper wire, an ammeter, a sensor, power supply, a thermometer, a graphical calculator and a rheostat.

Part 1: Number of turns

1 Measure the room temperature and record as ‘t’.

2 Set the power supply as a.c., set the rheostat at position A and keep the sensor 5cm from the magnet.

...read more.

Middle

50

58.5

63.6

54.3

60.2

61.5

Processed data

Number of turns

Average Strength of magnet/T

10

6.1

20

17.4

30

31.9

40

39.9

50

59.6

image00.png

From the graph and the table, I can see that with the number of turns increased, the strength of the magnet increased as well.

Size of the current at t=23.4°C

Strength of magnet/T

Size of the current

X1

X2

X3

X4

X5

Position A

15.4

14.5

15.6

15.9

17.1

Position B

26.5

27.8

26.9

27.3

28.2

Position C

34.9

33.9

35.5

37.6

39.5

Position D

44.5

49.3

46.7

47.5

46.1

Position E

62.4

67.6

64.3

64.7

65.2

 A-E represents the change in position of the slide of rheostat and thus a change in the size of the current.

Size of the current

Average Strength of magnet/T

Position A

15.7

Position B

27.3

Position C

36.3

Position D

46.8

Position E

64.8

Since no concrete number is used to measure the size of the current, it is very hard to draw a graph to show the relationship.

...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion and evaluation

        The three factors: number of turns, the size of the current, and the distance between the sensor and the magnet will all affect the final result of the strength of the magnet yet the nature of the current (a.c. or d.c.) doesn't change the strength.

        The experiment can be improved in these ways:

        1: a different shape of magnet could be used compared to the bar-shape one, e.g. u-shaped. In this case the strength of the electromagnet is more powerful than a straight one for obvious reason that both poles can be used to attract and lift objects; but it’s actually much more than twice as powerful as a single pole. So I can expand my experiment to investigate the influence of the shape of the magnet.

2: I could also measure each length of the wire because as more coils were added the length of the wire had to get longer and the length of the wire could have been one of the variables. Then there would be two variables in the experiment failing to control the one investigated.

...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

The candidate has carried out an experiment to investigate how four factors affect the strength of the magnetic field of an electromagnet. They have successfully answered the question, but there is still a lot of room to develop their answer ...

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Response to the question

The candidate has carried out an experiment to investigate how four factors affect the strength of the magnetic field of an electromagnet. They have successfully answered the question, but there is still a lot of room to develop their answer further, for example comparing their results to formulae or explaining the physics behind the phenomenon. All their analysis needs to be written up in their conclusion, rather than a vague statement that three of the factors had 'an effect'. Additionally, they have used different settings for each experiment - for example they changed the number of turns on the magnet between experiments, which makes it harder to compare results. Also, they have failed to use the necessary equipment to be able to thoroughly analyse their results - an ammeter should be available within school for them to use, and is essential for analysing the results when they investigated the effect of changing the current. Despite this, they have still carried out the experiments well with consistent results, and used these to answer to original question.

Level of analysis

The candidate has, where possible, analysed their results fairly well. They have drawn several graphs, calculated lines of best fit, and then described (albeit briefly) what these graphs show. However, they could have improved their analysis by drawing error bars on the graphs, showing calculations for identifying any anomalous results (every though there doesn't appear to be any, it's still good to check, and may be essential to gain marks), and describing the relationships between the variables and the strength of the magnetic field - for example describing it as 'inversely proportional'.

Quality of writing

The candidate has fairly good spelling, punctuation, and grammar. However, they have not stuck to convention in places, for example using the past tense 'I used' in the method section, when 'I will use' is more conventional. Their descriptions of the method are very good, and could easily be followed by someone who had not seen them carry out the experiment. They have also included a diagram. However, the sections of the report need to be more clearly headed - with bold, underlined test for clarity and ease of reading.
Overall, the report is readable and does its purpose, but could be quickly and easily improved by changing the presentation slightly.


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Reviewed by dragonkeeper13 09/09/2012

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