Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Why isn't my electromagnet working?

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 02/08/2013
Q:
sir i have made my electro magnet many times but it is not working(not attracting safety pins etc.)help me!!!!
- namrata (age 20)
INDIA
A:

Hi Namrata,

There are many potential problems. You'd have to give us a more detailed description of your electromagnet to get a precise answer.

There are many factors to check. For starters, make sure the safety pins are attracted to a regular magnet! Then, make sure current is actually flowing through your wire, which requires a strong enough battery, small enough resistance in the wire, and a complete circuit between the two. (Of course, be safe with your power source... something like a 9 volt DC battery should do fine!)

Also make sure that you have as many loops of wire as possible, all coiled in the same direction. If you coil these wires around an iron rod (like a nail), it will be easier to keep them in place, and the iron will concentrate the magnetic field, allowing you to pick things up more easily.

Good luck!
David Schmid


(published on 02/08/2013)

Follow-up on this answer.