Introduction: (Initial Observation)

An electromagnet is a main component of many household and industrial equipments. Electric bell, speaker, television, relay, electric valve, computer hard drive and thousands of other machines could not exist without electromagnets.

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Because of the importance of the electromagnet and its massive use in different machinery, it has been a challenge for scientists to make stronger electromagnets without increasing its size and without using more material. For example, an electric valve used in a dish washing machine is using an electromagnet to open and close the valve. If the electromagnet is not strong enough, the valve may fail to open or may fail to close when needed.


The above picture shows the Joseph Henry’s Electromagnet of 1831Source: Photographic Services: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

In this project you will study the factors affecting the strength of an electromagnet.

The outcome of this project can be used in designing stronger electromagnets.


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Project advisor

Information Gathering:

Gather information about electromagnets. Read books, magazines or ask professionals who might know in order to learn about the factors that may affect the strength of an electromagnet. Keep track of where you got your information from.

Following are sample of information that you may find about electromagnet.

An electromagnet is simply a coil of wire. It is usually wound around an iron core. When connected to a DC voltage or a current source, the electromagnet becomes energized, creating a magnetic field just like a permanent magnet.

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Electromagnetism II

In your studies about electromagnetism, you have learned about the electromagnetic field formed around a single conductor. A different condition exists when two parallel conductors are carrying equal currents in the same direction. A magnetic field forms in the clockwise direction around each conductor, with the magnetic lines between the conductors opposing each other. The magnetic field between the conductor is canceled out, leaving essentially no field in this area. The two conductors then move toward each other, from a strong field into a weak field.Two conductors lying alongside each other carrying equal currents in the same direction create a magnetic field equivalent to one conductor carrying twice the current. When several more conductors are placed side by side, the magnetic effect is increased as the lines from each conductor join and surround all the conductors.