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

Per working group:

  • 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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