Electricity and Magnetism

Making stronger electromagnets

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Adding to electromagnets

Thinking about the learning

The idea that an electromagnet can be made stronger by…

  • Increasing the number of coils (or turns) of wire
  • Increasing the electric current through the coil
  • Placing a magnetic material inside the solenoid coil

… is one which makes sense to most pupils.

Some may ask:

Lorna: Why is it that adding the iron core increases the strength of the electromagnet?

The simple idea here is that the iron becomes magnetised so that now, not only do we have the magnetic field due to the electric current passing through the coils of wire, but also the additional field due to the magnetised iron.

can be analysed using Magnetic Field
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