Strength of an electromagnet
The aim of this experiment is to investigate how the strength of an electromagnet is affected by the size of the current flowing through its coils.
YOU WILL NEED
A large (15cm long) iron nail A metre of insulated copper wire 6 metal paper clips A power supply (0-6V dc) An ammeter (0-5A) Connecting leads with 4mm plugs
WHAT TO DO
Strip off about 5 cm of the insulation from each end of the wire. Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram. Switch on the power supply and increase the voltage so that the current flowing through the coil is just enough to support one paper clip.
Record the value of the current.
Repeat this for as many paper clips as you can but be careful that the current in the coils is not more than your supply can safely produce.
ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS
Plot a graph of the current in the coil (Y axis) against the number of paper clips (X axis).
Measure the mass of each paper clip and plot a graph of current against mass.
Do you think there is any limit to the number of paper clips that your simple electromagnet can pick up and if so what things affect it?
Does the arrangement of paper clips on the end of the electromagnet make any difference to how many it can support (end to end or side by side)?
Do you think that there is a limit to how many paper clips the nail could support regardless of the current? Explain your answer with the help of a diagram.
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