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Calculate the force exerted between the magnet and coil

Extracts from this document...


Jennifer Harris

Centre No.

Candidate No.

Physics Planning paper 15/03/02


  • Ammeter
  • Bar magnet
  • Coil
  • Connecting wires
  • Metre Rule
  • Power supply (0-12V d.c. supply)
  • String – 2 pieces of equal length 20 cm
  • Set of masses ranging from 1g to 50g
  • Spirit level
  • Blocks of wood
  • Variable resistor

In my experiment I shall set up the apparatus as above.  I have chosen to use a piece of wire which is 2m long and shall be wrapped round a cardboard tube so that it has 200 complete turns which will directly next to each other.  I have chosen to leave no gaps as then the spacing between them will be equal which will mean the intensity of magnetism will be the same throughout the coil.

To calculate the force exerted between the magnet and coil I shall be using the principle of moments.  My metre stick shall be pivoted exactly in the centre (at 50cm mark) to make my measurements more accurate.

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To measure the distance x I shall lower the clamp stand and using the markings on the string and magnet at every 1cm lower the clamp stand until it is at the height that I require.  I would then switch the power pack on at 6V and make sure the current was at 5A and if it was not to adjust it using the variable resistor.  The coil would then attract the magnet and pull it downwards to calculate the force I would place further mass slots on the right hand side until it was balanced again, to check it was in equilibrium I would use a spirit level.  To calculate the force I would use the formula


e.g. Say at a distance of x= 3cm, I added a further 15 g (to the 20g that was needed to balance the magnet)

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I would then plot Force on the y-axis and distance on the x-axis like this:-

Features in my experiment which makes it more accurate are;

  • Spirit level as it is insured that the experiment is balanced and I therefore get the correct values for force.
  • Try and get the whole in the middle of the metre stick toe reduce error when calculating the moments
  • A variable resistor so I can change the current if it changes at any point in the experiment.
...read more.

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