# Physical Science [Easy] Electromagnet Nail

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

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. ### DanD9New 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.

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 !