What You Need:
- Large iron nail (approximately 3inches in length)
- Thin coated copper wire
- Dry cell batteries
- Electric tape
- Iron fillings, paper clips and other magnetic items
- Take the 3inch nail and the thin covered copper wire. Wrap the copper wire around the nail, leaving at least 10 inches of wire at the end. Make sure you don't overlap the wires when you wrap it around the nail. Take a scissor or cutter and cut the wire allotting about 8 to 10inches on the other end too.
- The next step is to attach the wires to the terminals of the battery. Do this by first peeling the plastic covering off the copper wire. Attach one end to the positive terminal of the dry cell battery and the other end to the negative terminal of the battery. To keep it in place use an electric tape and tape both ends of the wire to the battery terminals.
- Electromagnets work as long as electricity runs through a wire, as this automatically generates a magnetic field. Unlike ordinary magnets, the magnetic field the electromagnet creates is only temporary. As long as there is a continuous flow of electrons, the electromagnet will work. Ordinary magnets on the other hand, do not need electric current to work.
- Get a paper and put the iron fillings on it. Hold the electromagnet underneath the paper and watch the iron fillings arrange themselves, forming the shape of the electromagnet's magnetic field.