Friday, September 28, 2007
Building an electromagnet
The other day, Jim and the kids built an electromagnet together out of copper wire, a nail and a battery. Jim used a drill to wind the copper wire tightly around the nail, which was pretty cool to watch. Once hooked up to the battery, the kids were able to use the electromagnet to pick up random metal bits like this safety pin. While playing, the kids recalled a Scooby-Doo episode where there was an electromagnet used in a junk-yard and were thrilled to find out that huge magnet worked on the same principles as this small one they'd just helped build. They also tried to build a simple motor using magnets and the battery, but that experiment remains unsuccessful. Even after troubleshooting with a multimeter, we were at a loss. Back to the drawing board on that one.