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Q & A: How do you make a magnet

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
How do you make a magnet
- don (age 13)
columbia,tn.usa
A:
Don,

Most magnets are formed by moving electrons. Each moving electron creates a small magnetic field. If lots of electrons are moving along the same path, they create a bigger magnetic field. Because of this you can make a magnet by using electric current. If you wrap a coil of wire around a piece of iron (like a big nail) and then put electricity through it using a battery, you will create a magnetic field. This is what we call an "electromagnet." Remember, only use batteries if you try this, never use a wall outlet--this is much too dangerous!!

Have a look at How do magnets work? for an idea of how to make your own permanent magnet.

EJ & MS

(published on 10/22/2007)

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