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Investigate the relationship between electromagnet strength and amount of current flowing through the wire.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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Investigate the relationship between electromagnet strength and amount of current flowing through the wire.

1. PLAN:

Diagram:

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The Experiment:

I set up the equipment as shown in the diagram above. I put the variable resistor in the circuit to vary the current flow. I put the ammeter in the circuit to measure current flow at certain points. I then added an electromagnet to show that when electricity flows through a wire wrapped around a magnetically soft iron core, a magnetic field is created. I also added the electromagnet because we needed it to investigate the relationship between electromagnet strength and the amount of current flowing through the wire. Moreover, I added a battery consisting of 3 cells to provide electrical energy to the circuit. Furthermore, I added a load to the electromagnet to provide a measurement of magnetic strength of the electromagnet. Finally, I needed the clamp stand to hold the electromagnet and to balance the load. I also kept all the equipment the same throughout the whole experiment to maximise efficiency.

   In this experiment there were 2 variables; the independent variable (the current) and the dependant variable (the mass to pick up). However, to keep this test as fair as possible, I tried to minimise the effect of the variables on the experiment. Firstly, I  tried to measure the readings from the ammeter as accurately as possible (to the nearest 0.01 or 0.02 amps). Then, I tried to measure the load as accurately as possible.

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Middle

   However, if I do not reach the part of the graph where the points level off (if there is not enough current to line most of the domains up), then I will only plot the first part of the S-shape, corresponding to an x2 graph (a parabola of a quadratic equation).

   As a summary, I believe that as the current increases, more mass will be picked

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Conclusion

   The third factor, which may have affected my results, was the error in my measurements of mass. The masses I used (excluding the mass of the hook, attached to the electromagnet to hold the masses) were either 100g masses or 50g masses. This meant that the error in measurement was 50g. This made the test unfair, creating possible anomalous results. However, I tried to keep the graph as fair as possible by creating error bars on the graph to account for this factor.

   Finally, I could make a few improvements to this experiment, to make it even fairer. Firstly, I could perhaps record my current every 0.1A rather than 0.2A as this helps to make the experiment fairer with a smaller error range.

   I could also repeat the experiment 5 or 6 times to iron out any outliers and keep the results as compact as possible, with an almost perfect correlation for the graph.

   Lastly, instead of using masses of 50g, I could use masses of 10g. This would help to reduce the size of the error bars shown on my graph.

...read more.

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