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Electromagnetism Investigation

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Electromagnetism Investigation


When insulated wire is wrapped round an iron nail and the ends of the wire are connected to a battery the nail becomes capable of picking up iron filings and paper clips. This is called an electromagnet. The nail is magnetised by the current in the wire. If the battery is disconnected then the iron clips will fall off. This is because most of the magnetism has been lost.

The passage of an electric current along a wire creates a magnetic field around the wire. The fields are in the shape of a series of concentric rings. The more coils used in the electromagnet, the stronger the magnet is. If there is one coil, and another is added, then the two coils have twice the strength of one.

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I think that the more current that goes through the wire, the greater the electromagnetic pull of the soft-iron core will be. This is because the current going through the wire makes the soft-iron core is the factor that induces electromagnetism, as so when there is more current, there will be more electromagnetism. This is the same with the number of coils, used with the electromagnet, the more power is returned. The return and investment are not directly proportional. I think this because of the aforementioned scientific knowledge.


In this experiment we want to test the power of an electromagnet when the:

-Numbers of coils are varied

-When the amount of current is varied

Preliminary Experiment

In this experiment we experimented with different ways of testing the strength of the electromagnet.

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I will vary only the current in this experiment. All other factors will be kept constant. I will measure the amount of iron filings at 1,2,3,4 & 5 amps. I will repeat each experiment three times for accuracy.

Safety Precautions

We will make sure that there is no bare insulation or any water near any electrical equipment to prevent electrocution.


The Scientific Explanation

As the current is passed on to the wire, it becomes a magnet itself, in accordance with the right hand rule. It magnetises the substance at the core. Inside the substance there are domains. When they are magnetised they aligned themselves onto the same direction, making it magnetic, this needs energy to perform and maintain the process, and it is not cumulative so the more energy put into it the more will come out.


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