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Forces and Movement Produced by Magnetic Fields

based on 4 ratings
Author: Janice VanCleave

Magnetic force, a phenomena of magnetism, is a force produced by the motion of electric charges in a material. Materials with magnetic forces are called magnets, and the area around a magnet where its magnetic force can be experienced is called a magnetic field. One of the two regions of a magnet where the magnetic field is strongest is called a magnetic pole. One magnetic pole is called the north pole (N), and the other the south pole (S). Unlike poles attract each other, and like poles repel each other.

In this project, you will demonstrate how the angle of magnetic repulsive forces affects the motion of another magnet. You will discover how the magnitude of the repulsive force of one magnet affects the motion of another. You will determine how the strengths of magnetic fields can be compared. And you will study the effect of distance on the strength of magnetic fields.

Getting Started

Purpose   To demonstrate how the angle of magnetic repulsive forces affects the motion of another magnet.

Materials

  • ruler
  • pencil
  • 1 sheet of copy paper
  • craft stick
  • transparent tape
  • 3 equal-size disk ceramic magnets
  • compass

Procedure

  1. Use the ruler and the pencil to draw a line down the center of the paper. Draw two additional lines 2 inches (5 cm) on either side of the center line on the paper.
  2. Draw a line across the shorter center length of the craft stick and two additional lines 2 inches (5 cm) on either side of this center line. Repeat on the opposite side of the stick.
  3. Determine the magnetic poles of the magnets by placing a compass on a wooden table and laying one of the disk magnets on the table about 12 inches (30 cm) from the compass and perpendicular to the compass needle. Slowly move the magnet toward the compass until the compass needle is attracted to the magnet. If the north end of the needle is attracted to the magnet, use the pencil to mark S on the top of the magnet. Turn the magnet over and mark N on its opposite side. If the needle's south end is attracted to the magnet, mark N on the magnet's top and S on its opposite side. Repeat this procedure for the other magnets.
  4. Place two of the three magnets facedown on the two outside lines on the craft stick, with north poles (N) facing down. Tape the craft stick to the magnets.
  5. Place the craft stick with magnet side down at the bottom of the paper so that the stick is parallel with the bottom of the paper and perpendicular to the lines on the paper. The center line on the craft stick should line up with the center line on the paper.
  6. Place the unattached magnet (A) on the center line of the paper 2 inches (5 em) from the craft stick. This magnet should have the north pole (N) facing up like the magnets taped to the stick.
  7. Magnetic Field: An Area of Force

  8. Slowly move the craft stick toward magnet A, making an effort to keep the lines on the stick matching up with the lines on the paper. Observe any movement of magnet A

Results

As the craft stick approaches magnet A, the magnet moves away from the craft stick along the center line in a series of steps. It stops and then moves, then stops and moves, and so on.

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