Tips for Making a Stronger Electromagnet

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Making a stronger electromagnet can be as simple as increasing the current through the coil wire by increasing the voltage provided to the wire. Double a current to increase electromagnetism by four with help from a science teacher in this free video on electromagnets and physics.

Part of the Video Series: Physics & Electromagnetism
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to explain how to improve the strength of an electromagnet. Well here I have my electromagnet with the South at this end and the North at this end and it is basically a current carrying conductor wrapped around a piece of cardboard. There are several ways of making it stronger. Let's go and look at the first one. Well the first one is fairly obvious. The first one is to increase the current through the wire. If you increase the current and you can do that by increasing the voltage you will increase the strength of the magnet automatically. If you double the current you will actually increase the magnetism fourfold. The second way is probably the one that you would employ first and that is increase the number of turns on the magnet. That is the number of coils around so instead of having as we have got here 7 you would have 70 or 700 and if you look at most electromagnets, they have lots and lots and lots of turns of very thin wire to keep the current small but the number of turns high so that will increase the strength of the magnet. The third and one which is most often employed simply is to include a core of iron, soft iron which is iron which is easily magnetized and demagnetized. This core is placed through the middle of the magnet and this way you place it through the middle. This is very often laminated that is it is cut into sections and insulated but that core will increase the magnetism something like ten times because it is easier to set up magnetism in a piece of iron than it is to set it up in air. So those are the three basic ways to increase the strength of an electromagnet.

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