Physical Science [Easy] Electromagnet Nail

Discussion in 'Physical Science' started by oddtodd, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    My dad showed me this one when I was a kid , it's fun and can be scaled up to any size you like (they pick up cars with the big uns)

    You will need : A 16 penny steel nail , or better yet a 3 inch bar of iron about 3 inches long and 1/8 to 1/4 inch diameter

    Magnetic wire from your hobby shop 32 gauge (it is coated with enamel so the wire stays isolated from itself and wont short out if overlapped)

    a small battery of any voltage (I use a 9)

    Start by winding the nail from the head toward the point leaving yourself about 5 inches dangling off the end .

    Try not to overlap the wire , just wind it as close as you can , and go down the nail a couple inches .

    Then you can begin to overlap on your way back to the nail head , and repeat this back and forth a few times just like your fishing reel .

    leave yourself another 5 inches of slack when you are sick of winding , and then sand the first half inch of each loose end until it is shiny ( remove the enamel )

    Touch each end of the wire to the battery and see what attracts !

    You can try thicker wire , more windings , less windings , different centers to wrap around , diferent volt batteries and compare your results . Take note of the amount of turns of wire if you are experimenting and comparing results(a controlled experiment).

    While magnetism is still very mysterious , it is very easy to create in any coil of wire , you dont even need a metal core , a pen will do .

    The current carried thru any coil of wire creates a donut shaped invisible magnet just like any spinning planet does (I told you it could be scaled up ) .

    Magnetism is understood to be an aligning of atoms , and when you surround a piece of metal with wire and energize the coil , the atoms in the metal allign and create a much more powerful magnet . Different sizes and lenghts of wire , different voltages , and different center material all affect the strength .

    Magnetic coils are used in every spinning electrical device you can think of , and we would be 100 years behind the times if this was not discovered !

    Here is a link to other cool magnetic experiments , have fun !
    magnetman magnet
  2. DanD9

    DanD9 New Member

    I've done that before. It's cool. Have you ever made a coilgun? It's cool. I've made those and railguns.
    They're quite fun.:)
  3. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    COil gun ? I have launched a couple rare earth magnets from the top of a coil . What is involved ? A selenoid type of thingamajigger ? Shoot me some details and I will see if I can whip one up !
  4. Cinderloft

    Cinderloft Premium Member

    oooh, Ive always wanted to make my own railgun. Please share how.
  5. PurdueNuc

    PurdueNuc New Member

    Sam Barros' PowerLabs is a great site for those interested in EM devices. He's built a couple rail guns and a coil gun, and gives a good explanation of the theory and the practical application thereof.

    I've wanted to build a railgun for a while, but you pretty much have to have a lot of money or get lucky and find some high-energy capacitors for cheap (or do what Sam did, and find a sponsor).
  6. DanD9

    DanD9 New Member