Electricity and Magnetism | Forces and Motion

Hanging with magnetism!

Classroom Activity for 5-11 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

Suspension without contact.

This is a simple demonstration which is guaranteed to capture the pupils' interest at the start of the topic on magnetism.

What to Prepare

  • clamp stand
  • Eclipse major magnet (a very powerful permanent magnet)
  • 100 g mass hanger
  • thread

Clamp the magnet at the top of the stand. Tie the mass hanger to one end of the thread, secure the other end to the foot of the clamp stand and hold the hanger towards the magnet. If the gap between magnet and hanger is not too great, the hanger will hover in space!

What Happens During this Activity

Use this as a demonstration at the start of the work on magnetism. It provides a highly visual display of magnetic action-at-a-distance at work.

You might also try slipping different materials into the gap between the magnet and the hanger to find out if the hanger can be shielded from the force of the magnet. The hanger falls away when a sheet of magnetic material is placed in the gap.

can be analysed using Magnetic Field
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