Attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field: what is this?

In summary, the conversation discusses a high school student's extended essay on magnetic fields and ferromagnetic materials. The student asks about a phenomenon they observed in the lab where an iron material placed in the center of a solenoid is attracted to other pieces of iron. This is known as magnetic induction and is caused by the interaction of changing magnetic fields. Ferromagnetic materials, with their high permeability, are able to easily conduct these fields. This phenomenon is commonly used in devices such as transformers.
  • #1
clint222
36
0
Hello!

Just so you know, I am a high school student. I am asking about this because I am an IB student and doing an extended essay (it's basically research, and a bunch of experimentation to answer a research question) on something related to magnetic fields, ferromagnetic materials, or transformers.

I would like know about why something that I observed in the lab happens and what it is called. I plugged a solenoid (a coil of wire with a hole in the middle) into an AC voltage source. Holding a material such as iron in the middle of the coil causes it to vibrate. Iron is attracted to the center as AC current flows through the solenoid. If another iron materials is placed near the iron in the center of the coil, the iron the in the core will attach to the other piece of iron. The inserted iron can even pull the other piece of iron out. It's almost as if it is just one piece of iron. Of course, at a certain point when it gets far away enough from the field it no longer is attracted to the other piece of iron. Why exactly is the iron attracted to the other iron? Does it have something to do with ferromagnetic materials conducting magnetic fields? Also, what is this called?

Thanks so much for your time!
 
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  • #2


Hello there!

It's great to hear that you are conducting an extended essay on magnetic fields, ferromagnetic materials, and transformers. It sounds like you have already made some interesting observations in your lab.

The phenomenon you are describing is known as magnetic induction or magnetic attraction. When an AC current flows through a solenoid, it creates a changing magnetic field. This changing magnetic field induces a current in any nearby conductive material, such as the piece of iron you placed in the center of the coil. This induced current then creates its own magnetic field, which interacts with the original magnetic field of the solenoid. This interaction causes the iron to vibrate and be attracted to the center of the coil.

Ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, have a high permeability, which means they can easily conduct magnetic fields. This is why they are attracted to the center of the coil and can even pull other pieces of iron towards them.

This phenomenon is commonly used in devices such as transformers, where the changing magnetic fields are used to induce a current in a secondary coil. This allows for the transfer of energy from one circuit to another.

I hope this helps answer your questions and gives you a better understanding of the phenomenon you observed in the lab. Good luck with your extended essay!
 

Related to Attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field: what is this?

1. What is the attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field?

The attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field is a phenomenon where ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, nickel, or cobalt, are drawn towards a magnetic field. This is due to the alignment of the magnetic moments within the materials, causing them to line up and create a stronger magnetic force.

2. How does this attraction occur?

This attraction occurs due to the alignment of the atomic magnetic dipoles within the ferromagnetic material. In the presence of a magnetic field, these dipoles align themselves in the same direction, creating a strong magnetic force that pulls the material towards the source of the magnetic field.

3. What factors affect the strength of this attraction?

The strength of the attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field is affected by several factors, including the strength of the magnetic field, the type of ferromagnetic material, and the distance between the material and the source of the magnetic field.

4. Can this attraction be turned off or reversed?

Yes, the attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field can be turned off or reversed by changing the direction of the magnetic field. This can be done by either reversing the polarity of the source of the magnetic field or by introducing a stronger magnetic field in the opposite direction.

5. What are some practical applications of this attraction?

The attraction between ferromagnetic materials in a magnetic field has many practical applications, including in the construction of motors, generators, and transformers. It is also used in magnetic storage devices, such as hard drives, and in medical equipment like MRI machines. Additionally, this attraction is the basis for many everyday items, such as refrigerator magnets and magnetic toys.

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