Electricity and Magnetism

Exploring a 3D space

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

You can use this activity to explore the magnetic field in the region of space all around that magnet.

What to Prepare

  • a bar magnet with the poles at the ends
  • a slab magnet with the poles on the faces
  • a small gimballed bar magnet free to spin in all 3 planes (a probe)

What Happens During this Activity

Pupils hold the bar magnet in one hand and trace out the magnetic field. You'll have to model this for them.

Teacher: Starting from next to the magnet move the probe in the direction it is pointing. Keep going. If I do it really carefully, and not exploring the space too far from the magnet, I always come back to the magnet.

You might ask them to close their eyes and visualise all the lines they have just traced out, or even have a wire and cardboard box model of it, but it would be an act of cruelty to ask them to represent this on paper.

can be analysed using Magnetic Field
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