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How does the number of coils on an electromagnet affect its strength?

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Introduction

Science Coursework: How does the number of coils on an
                             electromagnet affect its strength?

Aim: - To establish whether a variation in the number of coils will affect an electromagnet's strength.

Scientific Knowledge: -

The concept of electromagnets is fairly simple.

An iron nail wrapped in a series of coils of insulated wire and then connected to a battery, will enable the nail to pick up paper clips. This is because the current emitted from the battery to the coils magnetises the nail. This is known as an electromagnet. The current passing through an electromagnet produces a magnetic field. Therefore, the more turns of the coil you have, the greater the magnetic field and the stronger the electromagnet. This will mean more paper clips being picked up by the nail. The strength of an electromagnet can also be altered by varying the current or voltage. The more induced voltage, the stronger the electromagnet. An alternative way to strengthen an electromagnet is to replace the core with a "soft" iron core.

Prediction: -

...read more.

Middle

5

4

10

11

15

16

20

19

25

26

30

42

35

36

image00.png

Second Results

No. of coils

No. of paperclips supported

5

4

10

9

15

13

20

18

25

25

30

31

35

35

image01.png

We can infer from the positive correlation evident in this scatter graph that the number of coils is proportional to the number of paperclips attracted, thus, the number of coils is proportional to the strength of the electromagnet.

Analysis: -

In the first set of results, there was an abnormal fluctuation of the number of paperclips supported by the iron nail. When 30 coils were wrapped around the iron nail, 42 paperclips were magnetised, but when 35 coils were wrapped around the iron nail, the number of paperclips supported dropped to 36.

...read more.

Conclusion

I am sure that this conclusion is correct as there were no anomalous results or irregular differences between the number of paperclips attracted when more coils were added each time.

Evaluation: -

Overall, I think the investigation I carried out was seemingly accurate, especially for the second run through. I do think however, that my investigation could have been improved by carrying out a third reiteration, with the coils distanced equally apart. This would then confirm my initial prediction and my results.

In the first set of results, there appeared one anomaly. I am quite certain that this happened due to the uneven distance between each coil along the iron nail because in the second set of results, there appeared no anomalous results.

In terms of further work, I think I could have used additional apparatus such as a Hall Probe to produce much more reliable results. By using the Hall probe, I could have recorded the strength of the magnetic field each time 5 more coils were added. This would have significantly enhanced my investigation as I could see whether the magnetic field legitimately grows stronger as more coils are added rather than trusting mere theoretical information.

...read more.

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Response to the question

Overall a good piece of work for this level. Accounts for anything that might bias or confound the results and repeats the experiment in light of this which is to a good level. To improve the grade the candidate may ...

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Response to the question

Overall a good piece of work for this level. Accounts for anything that might bias or confound the results and repeats the experiment in light of this which is to a good level. To improve the grade the candidate may have used greater scientific depth, but the essay is to a high standard for the level. The essay is mainly concise and clear with a good evaluation and conclusion.

Level of analysis

The background behind the question and the scientific analysis provided is to a good depth. To provide a clearer method, the method should be either bullet points or numbers rather than continuous prose. The test is repeated, and anything which might affect the test is accounted for on a basic level. The graphs provided show a good level of analysis. The conclusion and evaluation are to a good standard.

Quality of writing

Punctuation, grammar and spelling all seems fine and accurate.


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Reviewed by skatealexia 22/04/2012

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