Danish scientist Hans Christian Orsted discovered in 1820 that electric currents create magnetic fields. “An electromagnet is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by an electric current”. The magnetic field disappears when the current is turned off. Electromagnets usually consist of insulated wire wound into a coil.
Let’s see how to make an electromagnet!
Things Required to make Electromagnet
- A large iron nail (about 3 inches)
- About 3 feet of thin coated copper wire
- A fresh D-cell battery
- Some paper clips or any other small magnetic objects
Steps to make Electromagnet
Step 1: Leave about 8 inches of wire loose at one end and wrap most of the rest of the wire around the nail(do not overlap the wires).
Step 2: Cut the wire (if needed) so that there is about another 8 inches loose at the other end too.
Step 3: Now remove about an inch of the plastic coating from both ends of the wire and attach the wires to both the ends of battery.
How Electromagnet works ?
Electromagnets run on electricity and are only magnetic when the electricity is flowing. The electricity flowing through the wire arranges the molecules in the nail so that they are attracted to certain metals.
NOTE: NEVER get the wires of the electromagnet near at household outlet! Be safe – have fun!
Uses of Electromagnets
- Motors and generators
- Electric bells and buzzers
- Loudspeakers and headphones
- Magnetic recording and data storage equipment: tape recorders, VCRs, hard disks
- MRI machines and etc…..