What Affects the Strength of an Electromagnet?

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The strength of an electromagnet is directly related to the number of turns in the wire coil that is used to make the magnet. Discover how to increase the current to increase the strength of electromagnets 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 what changes the strength of an electromagnet. Now an electromagnet of course we know consists of a coil and it has what we would say N turns so it's a coil with a number of turns. Turns of wire around some kind of former, it so contains a coil. So the number of turns certainly affects the strength so we could say more turns and we get a stronger magnet. That's the first thing. Now we get a current in the coil. If the current is larger in the coil, so more current then we get a stronger magnet also. So these are the main two things which make an electromagnet stronger in terms of the things that we would normally vary. But we can add a third thing which is a core of soft iron. A core means that in the coil we put inside it a piece of soft iron, even for example steel will also do. This increases the strength by 10. So it's a factor of 10 also we get this much stronger magnet because it's easier to setup a magnetic fields in soft iron than it is to set it up in air. And that is why we use this soft iron core. So if I'm looking to change the strength which will affect the strength of an electromagnet, I would change the number of turns on the coil, I would change the current in the coil and I would use a soft iron core. So in short, that is how I would affect the strength of an electromagnet.

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