Tiny, light metal objects

Discussion in 'Supporting Physics' started by JHRoss, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    Every time we do the electromagnetism practical that includes the iron nail and the insulated wire


    and we use as metallic light objects some paperclips we don't have so dramatic results because the magnetic field is weak so the maximum quantity of lifted paperclips are no more than 2.

    Ideally it could give dramatic results giving them iron filings but this would be such a mess

    So what would you suggest me to use?

  2. Tiny screws work well! Such as the ones you would use on maybe glasses or a watch (they could be a tiny bit bigger so they're not as difficult to pick up obviously:p)
  3. small paperclips and 6 inch nail work fine, i would not use a battery but a power pack at 6 or 12 volts.

    you need lots of turns for it to work really well, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 is good for an investigations.
  4. We have always used paperclips, but instead of a battery (cell) we use a powerpack, no more than 4volts if memory serves me right. The whole lot on a heat mat. Works just fine.
    Andrew Goloskof likes this.
  5. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    we use soft iron cores and 8 amp powerpacks set to 2V with 2 metres of the green wire (0.6mm dia) If you use anything over 20 turns you can pick up plenty of paper clips.
  6. Well I have collected some staple waste from the stapler of our copy machine, tiny and light enough, I will try to find out if there is any quantitative difference for different voltage values
  7. What if I put more or much more than 2V? The wire is insulated so there are no health and safety issues
  8. If you put too much current through the wire, it will get hot, so you have the risk of burns, especially if the insulation melts and sticks to the skin. Also the insulation is PVC, so there is the problem of fumes if you melt it.
  9. 'We're gonna need some bigger nails!' We use large nails (c6"), so we can get plenty of coils around them, run off a battery pack, and that works pretty well. The smaller nails were pretty poor.
  10. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    Most power packs will trip out if you just connect a bit of copper wire across them, hence the need for 2 metres and keep the voltage low.Our Irwins and PH space savers will both cope with 2 metres of the green wire and 2V supply.