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Lab Write-Up

Purpose: Overall question was how do electric current influence magnetic fields. My group and I
did this by testing:

Does the amount of copper coils around a galvanized nail affect the strength of an

Background: An electromagnet is a metal core with wire coiled around it. Then a current is run
through the wire coiled around the nail. Which interacts with the the metal core and creates a
magnetic field. When an electric current runs through a wire, to concentrate the magnetic field
the wire is coiled around a ferrimagnetic field.

Hypothesis: If a 32 gauge insulated copper wire is coiled around a 3 inch galvanized nail and a
32 gauge insulated copper wire is touching both ends of an AA battery then if you increase the
coils by 10 each test after 30 coils the amount of paper clips picked up will increase by 1 when a
electrical current goes through the wire.

1. AA battery
2. 3 inch galvanized nail
3. 32 gauge wire
4. Office depot #1 paper clips

1. Acquire a 32 gauge insulated copper wire.
2. Get a 3 inch galvanized nail.
3. Wrap 10 coils of wire around the shaft of the nail.
4. Make sure to spread the coil out evenly.
5. Snip the excese wire at the end of the coiled wire.
6. Srip the two ends of the wire.
7. Attach one end of the wire to the positive end of the battery and attach one end of the
wire to the negative end of the battery. Use the coiled nail to attempt to pick up
paperclips using the magnetic field generated.
8. Record results
9. Repeat steps 1-8 multiple times.

1. Make sure to keep end of nail away from eyes.
2. Don’t run with scissors
3. When generating a magnetic field, don’t have it generating the field for too long because
the battery and wire will begin to get hot, and the battery will burn out.


Coil Averag
Numbe e of all
r Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Trial 6 Trial 7 7 trials Notes
10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
up 1
drops it
40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 quickly
50 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
up 4
drops 1
60 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 rest
Picks up
5 but
drops 1
70 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 keeps

80 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
90 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
100 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Dark Blue: 100 coils

Red: 90 coils
Green: 80 coils
Pink: 70 coils
Light Blue: 60 coils
Purple: 50 coils

This data shows how the strength of an magnetized galvanized nail increases when the coils
around the nail increase. The data shows this because when my group and I coiled the wire
around the galvanized nail at forty times we couldn’t fully pickup a paper clip but the magnetic
field got strong enough to attract the paper clip to the electromagnet that we created. Then at
fifty coils the magnetic field was strong enough to pick up two paper clips. Then after that the
amount of paper clips picked up increased by one for every ten coils around the nail. Also when
we picked up the paper clips it would hold an extra paperclip than recorded in the data table for
coil amount sixty and seventy for a very short amount of time than fell off. So my group and I
decided not to count those paper clips.

I deduct from the data my group and I collected that my hypothesis was wrong because I said
the amount of paperclips collected would increase by one for each ten coils around the nail by
thirty coils. I was only twenty coils off of when the nail started picking up one paper clip for every
ten coils. My hypothesis was very close to being right. It was just a tiny bit off.

The only problem in the lab that my group and I had was battery’s dying because they had been
being used for the past two days by all of the groups and the previous class. Some ways I could
improve this lab is by having different ways to measure a stronger magnetic field than the other.
We could use a compass to do it. So I think that this could be made into a competition to see
which group could make the strongest electromagnet. Then use a compass to see which
magnet it points to and that one would be the strongest. Also the class could be provided
different types of wire to see which one can produce the best magnetic field when wrapped
around a galvanized nail. This could lead into further investigation on which types of wire have
less or more resistance.

CLEAR Paragraph

The more times that a 32 gauge wire connected to a AA battery is coiled around a galvanized
nail, the stronger the magnetic field that the electromagnet creates. In this experiment my group
and I tested what amount of coils would create the strongest magnetic field. We measured the
strength of the magnetic field by seeing how many paperclips the electromagnet could pick up.
The data that my group and I collected supports this because even though the electromagnet
does not pick up anything for the first forty coils. The amount of paper clips picked up increased
by one each time we added ten coils after forty coils. Also at forty coils the electromagnet
attracted a paper clip but just didn’t pick it up. So, even though it wasn’t visible for 10,20, and 30
coils. It was still increasing per ten coils. That is why the amount of coils increases the power of
an electromagnet.