simple-electromagnetAn Electromagnet is the kind of magnet, which uses electric current to create a magnetic field. It can attract and magnetize ferromagnetic materials like Iron, Nickel, and Cobalt. It is easy to make a simple electromagnet at your home from household materials.

Things You Will Need

  • Thin Plastic insulated wire
  • 5 volt AA Battery
  • Iron Nail

How to Make

  1. Wrap 20 turns of insulated wire on an iron nail tightly
  2. Trim about an inch of plastic coating from both ends of the wire.
  3. Connect one end of the wire with the positive terminal of the battery, and other with negative terminal. Use the electric wire tape if necessary.
  4. Get some paper clips and bring your electromagnet near them. You will see the paper clips will be attracted towards your electromagnet.

Disconnect wires from the battery, if wire or battery gets hot.

How it Works

When you connect the wires to the battery, an electric current flows in the wires. This electric current produces the magnetic field around the wire. The iron nail acts as a magnetic core. Magnetic cores are used to enhance the magnetic field.

Try It

  • Try to use two 1.5 volts AA batteries, and connect them in series. Then, connect the wires to this battery and observe the effects. Find out, does it affects the strength of the electromagnet
  • Use thicker wire instead of thin wire, and wrap around the iron nail. Then, observe the strength of an electromagnet
  • Use thick iron nail or bolt. Then, observe does it affect the strength of an electromagnet.

Try above methods, and note down your result. In the end, you will find which method is affecting the strength of electromagnet most.