Generating a magnetic field

1. Jan 24, 2014

hopelessmagnet

I'm trying to generate a magnetic field that's strong enough to be detectable (i.e., still stronger from the earth's field) at some distance away from where I'm generating it. I have a pretty simple setup with some current running through a wire wrapped around a nail, and I can detect it up to a couple of inches away. I was wondering what I could do to increase the range? I know the Biot-Savart law says I should increase current and reduce radius, but I was wondering if there are any other equations I should be looking at?

Thanks!

2. Jan 24, 2014

Simon Bridge

Welcome to PF;
Nope - that's that's pretty much it.

You're welcome :)

3. Jan 24, 2014

hopelessmagnet

Alright, at least I know I'm not missing something obvious. As for coiling the wire, can I coil it multiple times? As in, coil from left to right across the nail, then start back again from the left side? Or does that not increase the field at all?

4. Jan 24, 2014

Simon Bridge

Yes you can coil multiple times back and forth over the same nail.
This increases the magnetic field.

Of course, if you want to use electric fields as well, then you can make electromagnetic beams that are detectable over quite long distances much more efficiently.

5. Jan 25, 2014

UltrafastPED

You can also use different metals for the core of your magnet; a softer iron will concentrate the field better.

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