How to Make Batteries or Magnet Experiments

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How to Make an Electromagnet From a Battery....5

One simple experiment that uses batteries and magnets involves making a magnet by wrapping wire around a nail and attaching it to a battery. Learn about using caution when making homemade magnets with help from a science teacher in this free video on batteries and magnets.

Part of the Video Series: Physics & Electromagnetism
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Steve Jones and we are going to look at some battery and magnet experiments. Now the first thing let's keep this simple and let's use things which we will find commonly around the home, electric wire, there is often bits and ends of electric wire. Cells and batteries and so on, nails, paper clips, pencils, cardboard tubes, they're all in your home, right? And for these things you can make such simple things as a magnet from a nail and a piece of wire, simply by taking the nail and wrapping the wire around it and then attaching it to a battery and that makes a simple magnet. Using this of course you can pick up paper clips and that is part of my shopping list you might say so that is a good little experiment to do and you can investigate the strength of the magnet, how many paper clips you can pick up by increasing the number of turns and by changing the number of batteries that you are pushing the current through with. You will also find that you are also investigating heating up a wire because you will find this will get pretty hot when you do it and don't let it get too hot it will melt the wire. So that's one kind of thing that you can do with a battery and a magnet but there are other things if you get a sheet of paper for example and if you take your magnet with its coil and put it underneath, put it underneath here so here is your magnet and it is working. Now what you need for this are iron filings. Now iron filings are what you get when you get a rasp or for rasping metal and you rasp it and you rasp the iron and you get these little bits of iron. Those are iron filings usually a rasp or a file. You file them and you can sprinkle these over the top and if you sprinkle them over the top and you set your current running in this and then you just tap this maybe cardboard is better but you just tape this you will find you get a pattern and the pattern will look something like this and this will show you the magnetic field lines. You can't see them but this shows you what they look like and this is a very simple experiment to do. If you want to make this permanent if you are very clever you do this and then lift it off and all you have to do is get some of this sticky backed plastic, clear plastic and very carefully just put it over the top, press it down and there you will have the impression of the magnetic field around your electromagnet. So that is some of the kind of experiments you can do with batteries and magnets.

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