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# a wire is not strong enough to pick up a washer or much of anything. what is a way to strengthen the magnetic field?

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### James

Guys, does anyone know the answer?

get a wire is not strong enough to pick up a washer or much of anything. what is a way to strengthen the magnetic field? from EN Bilgi.

## Build an Electromagnet

This student sheet accompanies the lesson, Build an Electromagnet.

### Introduction

If you have ever played with a really powerful magnet, you have probably noticed one problem. You have to be pretty strong to separate the magnets again! Today, we have many uses for powerful magnets, but they wouldn’t be any good to us if we were not able to make them release the objects that they attract. In 1820, a Danish physicist, Hans Christian Oersted, discovered that there was a relationship between electricity and magnetism. Thanks to Oersted and a few others, by using electricity, we can now make huge magnets. We can also cause them to release their objects.

Electricity and magnetism are closely related. The movement of electrons causes both, and every electric current has its own magnetic field. This magnetic force in electricity can be used to make powerful electromagnets that can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch. But how do you make an electromagnet?

By simply wrapping wire that has an electrical current running through it around a nail, you can make an electromagnet. When the electric current moves through a wire, it makes a magnetic field. If you coil the wire around and around, it will make the magnetic force stronger, but it will still be pretty weak. Putting a piece of iron or steel inside the coil makes the magnet strong enough to attract objects. The strength of an electromagnet can be increased by increasing the number of loops of wire around the iron core and by increasing the current or voltage.

You can make a temporary magnet by stroking a piece of iron or steel (such as a needle) along a permanent magnet. There is another way that uses electricity to make a temporary magnet, called an electromagnet. Let's build one!

You’ll need:

Directions:

1. Wrap the wire in a tight, even coil around the bolt. Leave 3 or 4 inches of wire loose at each end. Keep wrapping the wire until you get to the end of the bolt. There may be as many as 3 or 4 layers of wire all the way up and down the bolt. Your electromagnet should look something like this:

2. Attach one end of the wire to the positive (+) end of one of your batteries. Attach the other end of the wire to the negative end (-) of your battery pack.

3. Try to pick up one of the paper clips with your electromagnet. What happens? Now, unhook one of the wires from the battery. Will your electromagnet pick up a paper clip now? What do you need flowing through the wire to make the iron bolt act like a magnet?

4. How many paper clips will your electromagnet hold? Can you hang clips on both ends of the bolt? Why?

5. How can you make your electromagnet stronger? Try adding more batteries to your battery pack. Make sure all the batteries “face” the same direction in the circuit. Now, how many paper clips will your electromagnet hold?

6. How is the strength of the electromagnet affected by the increase in electricity traveling through the wire?

7. After using the electromagnet, remove the iron nail or bolt. Can the nail still pick things up? How many paper clips or staples can it pick up? Try dropping the nail or bolt a couple of times on the floor. How does this affect whether or not you can pick up any paper clips or staples? How many paper clips or staples can the nail or bolt pick up after being dropped?

Be sure to disconnect your electromagnet when it is not in use. Leaving the wires connected will drain your battery.

## Electromagnets

Study how magnets and electromagnets work with BBC Bitesize KS3 Science.

When an electric current flows in a wire, it creates a magnetic field around the wire. This effect can be used to make an electromagnet. A simple electromagnet comprises a length of wire turned into a coil and connected to a battery or power supply.

You can make an electromagnet stronger by doing these things:

There is a limit to how much current can be passed safely through the wire because the resistance of the wire causes heating.

Dr Yan makes a powerful electromagnet by wrapping copper wire around pieces of iron and attaching a small battery

Electromagnets have some advantages over permanent magnets. For example:

These properties make electromagnets useful for picking up scrap iron and steel in scrapyards.

Source : www.bbc.co.uk

## Creating an Electromagnet

Student teams investigate the properties of electromagnets. They create their own small electromagnets and experiment with ways to change their strength to pick up more paperclips. Students learn about ways that engineers use electromagnets in everyday applications.

### Engineering Connection

Engineers design electromagnets, which are a basic part of motors. Electromagnetic motors are a big part of everyday life, as well as industries and factories. We may not even realize that we interact with electromagnets on a daily basis as we use a wide variety of motors to make our lives easier. Common devices that use electromagnetic motors are: refrigerators, clothes dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, garbage disposals, doorbells, computers, computer printers, clocks, fans, car starters, windshield wiper motors, electric toothbrushes, electric razors, can openers, speakers, music or tape players, etc.

### Learning Objectives

After this activity, students should be able to:

### Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

3-PS2-3. Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. (Grade 3)

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3-PS2-4. Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets. (Grade 3)

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### Materials List

Each group needs:

For each electromagnetic field station:

For the entire class to share:

### More Curriculum Like This

Students learn more about magnetism, and how magnetism and electricity are related in electromagnets. They learn the fundamentals about how simple electric motors and electromagnets work. Students also learn about hybrid gasoline-electric cars and their advantages over conventional gasoline-only-pow...

### Pre-Req Knowledge

Some knowledge of magnetic forces (poles, attraction forces). Refer to the Magnetism unit, Lesson 2: Two Sides of One Force, for this information on electromagnets.

### Introduction/Motivation

Today, we are going to talk about electromagnets and create our own electromagnets! First, can anyone tell me what an electromagnet is? (Listen to student ideas.) Well, an electromagnet's name helps tell us what it is. (Write the word electromagnet on the classroom board for students to see.) Let's break it down. The first part of the word, electro, sounds like electricity. The second part of the word, magnet, is what it sounds like—a magnet! So, an electromagnet is a magnet that is created by electricity.

The really important thing to remember today is that electricity can create a magnetic field. This may sound strange, because we're used to magnetic fields just coming from magnets, but it is really true! A wire that has electrical current running through it creates a magnetic field. In fact, the simplest electromagnet is a single wire that is coiled up and has an electric current running through it. The magnetic field generated by the coil of wire is like a regular bar magnet. If we put an iron (or nickel, cobalt, etc.) rod (perhaps a nail) through the center of the coil (see Figure 1), the rod becomes the magnet, creating a magnetic field. Where do we find the electricity for an electromagnet? Well, we can get this electricity a few ways, such as from a battery or a wall outlet.

We can make this magnetic field stronger by increasing the amount of electric current going through the wire or we can increase the number of wire wraps in the coil of the electromagnet. What do you think happens if we do both of these things? That's right! Our magnet will be even stronger!

Engineers use electromagnets when they design and build motors. Motors are in use around us everyday, so we interact with electromagnets all the time without even realizing it! Can you think of some motors that you have used? (Possible answers: Washing machine, dishwasher, can opener, garbage disposal, sewing machine, computer printer, vacuum cleaner, electric toothbrush, compact disc [CD] player, digital video disc [DVD] player, VCR tape player, computer, electric razor, an electric toy [radio-controlled vehicles, moving dolls], etc.)

### Procedure

Before the Activity

With the Students: Electromagnetic Field Stations

With the Students: Building an Electromagnet

### Vocabulary/Definitions

battery: A cell that carries a charge that can power an electric current.

current: A flow of electrons.

electromagnet: A magnet made of an insulated wire coiled around an iron core (or any magnetic material such as iron, steel, nickel, cobalt) with electric current flowing through it to produce magnetism. The electric current magnetizes the core material.

electromagnetism: Magnetism created by an electric current.

engineer: A person who applies her/his understanding of science and mathematics to create things for the benefit of humanity and our planet. This includes the design, manufacture and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, products, processes and systems.

magnet: An object that generates a magnetic field.

magnetic field: The space around a magnet in which the magnet's magnetic force is present.

motor: An electrical device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.

permanent magnet: An object that generates a magnetic field on its own (without the help of a current).

solenoid: A coil of wire.

### Assessment

Pre-Activity Assessment

Prediction: Ask students to predict what will happen when a wire is wrapped around a nail and electricity is added. Record their predictions on the classroom board.

Brainstorming: In small groups, have students engage in open discussion. Remind them that no idea or suggestion is "silly." All ideas should be respectfully heard. Ask the students: What is an electromagnet?

Activity-Embedded Assessment

Worksheet: At the beginning of the activity, hand out the Building an Electromagnet Worksheet. Have students make drawings, record measurements and follow along with the activity on their worksheets. After students finish the worksheet, have them compare answers with a peer or another pair, giving all students time to finish. Review their answers to gauge their mastery of the subject.

Hypothesize: As students make their electromagnet, ask each group what would happen if they changed the size of their battery. How about more coils of wire around the nail? (Answer: An electromagnet can be made stronger in two ways: increasing the amount of electric current going through the wire or increasing the number of wire wraps in the coil of the electromagnet.)

Post-Activity Assessment

Engineering Discussion Questions: Solicit, integrate and summarize student responses.

Graphing Practice: Present the class with the following problems and ask students to graph their results (or the entire class' results). Discuss which variables made a bigger change in the strength of the electromagnet.

### Safety Issues

The electromagnet can get quite warm, particularly at the terminals, so have students disconnect their batteries at frequent intervals.

### Troubleshooting Tips

A high density of nail wraps is important to produce a magnetic field. If the wrapped nails are not acting as magnets, check students’ coil wraps to ensure they are not crisscrossed, and that the wraps are tight. Also, use thin gauge wire to enable more wraps along the length of the nail.

Iron nails work better than bolts since the bolt threads do not permit smooth wrapping of the copper wire, which may disrupt the magnetic field.

Avoid using batteries that are not fully charged. Partially discharged batteries will not generate a strong and observable magnetic reaction.

If the electromagnets get too warm, have students use rubber kitchen gloves to handle them.

### Activity Extensions

Another way to vary the current in the electromagnet is to use wires of different gauges (thickness) or of different materials (for example: copper vs. aluminum). Ask students to test different wire types to see how this affects the electromagnet's strength. As a control, keep constant the number of coils and amount of current (battery) for all wire tests. Then, based on their rest results, ask students to make guesses about the resistances of the various wires.

### Acknowledgements

The contents of this digital library curriculum were developed under grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education, and National Science Foundation (GK-12 grant no 0338326). However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Education or National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.