Q:

How do you make an electromagnet?

A:

Quick Answer

An electromagnet can be constructed by wrapping an iron or steel bar with a current-carrying wire. When used as the core of an electromagnet, the ferromagnetic properties of iron or steel allow the magnetic domains to align. Wrapping a nail or other steel item with insulated wire, which is then hooked up to an electrical current, will magnetize the core. When powered, electromagnets function just like permanent magnets.

Know More
How do you make an electromagnet?
Credit: Martin McCarthy E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

The first electromagnet was invented in 1820. The simple physics governing electromagnetism allows anyone to construct such a magnet using common everyday items. A large iron or steel nail, at least 3 inches or longer, makes a suitable core for a simple electromagnet. Household D-size batteries produce an electrical current that is strong enough to create an operational magnet. Tightly wrapping the nail or other object with coated or insulated copper wire and ensuring the ends are exposed and able to be connected to the battery is all that is required.

Once the wire is attached to a power source and current is passed through it, the core becomes magnetized and will possess enough force to attract certain types of metals. Once disconnected from its power source, an electromagnet will no longer function.

Learn more about Magnetism

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a list of magnetic metals?

    A:

    A list of magnetic metals includes iron, nickel, cobalt and metal mixtures that include at least one of the three. Magnetic metals are classified as metals that are attracted by the magnetic field.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the principle of an electromagnetic crane?

    A:

    The principle of an electromagnetic crane is to allow for the lifting and transporting of metals using a strong magnetic force. Instead of using claws or pincers, the special crane uses a large flat magnet to pick up metallic materials.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can kids make an electromagnet?

    A:

    Kids can easily make an electromagnet using nothing more than 5 feet of copper wire, a large iron nail, a rubber band, sandpaper and an AA battery. These objects are readily available around the house, and there are few risks associated with making a small electromagnet. Making electromagnets will allow children to see basic science concepts in person.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do similar poles repel each other?

    A:

    Similar poles repel each other because of magnetic lines of force. A magnetic line of force originates from the north pole of a magnet and ends at its south pole. When the north and south pole ends of a magnetic object are put into close proximity, they form an attraction because the magnetic lines continue together in the same direction. Like poles repel because the lines of force are head-to-head.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore