# Help making an Electromagnet

• mgiddy911
In summary, the person is working on a physics project to build a strong electromagnet and has previously made weaker ones by coiling wire around a nail and connecting it to a AA battery. They tried using a power supply from an old computer, but it wouldn't work when connected to a wire coil around an iron pipe. They are seeking help on how to make a stronger electromagnet and have been advised to consider the number of turns of wire and the current or voltage applied. They also mentioned wanting to avoid using multiple batteries and are wondering if there is a different way to use the computer power supply. They are looking for guidance and help with their project.

#### mgiddy911

I am working on a physics project, and I need to build a strong electro magnet. I have previously made many real weak ones simply by coiling wire around a nail and conecting it to a AA battery(1.5V). Can anyone help me make a stronger version. I tried using a powersupply from an old computer, it plugged into a 120 V wall outlet and converted AC to DC with outputs +5V, -5V, +12V and -12V. so I took the 12 and -12 leads and stripped them and connected them to a wire coiled around an iron pipe. however the powersupply then wouldn't kick on, as if a safety feature was preventing it, as soon as I disconnected one of the wires it would kick on, but then i didn't have an electromagnet. My idea was to use the 12 volt leads and transform them to high voltage low current to be safer, but for now I was just using the 12V as is. ONe idea my dad gave me was that possibly I need some resistance for the powersupply to work, so adding some resistors in series before the wire coil may work?

So I need some instruction on making a much stronger electromagnet.
Any help or weblinks would be appreciated

Last edited:
could someone atleast give me some insight into what makes an electromagnet stronger, some of the things i know are the number of turns of wire in the magnet, as well as the current or voltage applied to it.
The reason i wanted to do it without just using batteries is because i didn't want to just have to connect 20 batteries together to get a high voltage. Maybe using the computer powersupply isn't possible however, again I cut the wires of one of the outputs that would connect to a hard drive, there are +12V, +5V, -5V, -12V. I connected one end of the wire coil to the +12 and one to the -12, am i going about this wrong, is there a different way i should be using this power supply, should I be connecting one end to the +12V and grounding the other?

Any help would be great, this project is becomming evermore tedious

To make a stronger electromagnet, you can try the following steps:

1. Choose a suitable core material: Iron is a good choice for a core material as it is highly magnetic. You can use an iron bar or pipe for your electromagnet.

2. Increase the number of coils: The more coils you have, the stronger the magnetic field will be. You can wind the wire around the iron core multiple times to increase the number of coils.

3. Use thicker wire: Thicker wire has lower resistance, which means it can handle more current and produce a stronger magnetic field. You can try using a thicker gauge wire for your electromagnet.

4. Increase the voltage: As you have already tried, increasing the voltage can also make the electromagnet stronger. However, make sure to use a power supply that can handle the increased voltage and current.

5. Add a ferromagnetic material: You can also enhance the strength of your electromagnet by adding a ferromagnetic material, such as iron filings or small magnets, to the core. This will help concentrate the magnetic field and make it stronger.

6. Use a switch: Instead of directly connecting the wires to the power supply, you can use a switch to turn the power on and off. This will prevent the power supply from shutting off due to overload and also save energy.

7. Use resistors: As your dad suggested, adding resistors in series with the wire coil can help regulate the current and prevent the power supply from shutting off. You can try experimenting with different values of resistors to find the optimal strength for your electromagnet.

Here are some additional tips:

- Make sure to use insulated wire to avoid short circuits.
- Use a power supply with adjustable voltage and current settings, if possible.
- Be cautious when working with high voltages and currents. Wear safety gloves and goggles.
- You can also refer to online tutorials or videos for more detailed instructions on making electromagnets. Good luck with your project!

## 1. How do I make an electromagnet?

Making an electromagnet is easy and requires just a few materials. You will need a battery, insulated copper wire, and an iron nail. Start by tightly wrapping the wire around the nail, leaving two ends of wire sticking out. Then, connect one end of the wire to the positive end of the battery and the other end to the negative end. This will create an electric current that will turn the nail into a magnet.

## 2. What is the purpose of an electromagnet?

An electromagnet is used to create a temporary magnetic field. It is commonly used in applications such as motors, generators, and speakers. It is also used in scientific experiments and demonstrations to show the properties of magnetism and electricity.

## 3. How strong is an electromagnet?

The strength of an electromagnet depends on several factors such as the number of coils, the amount of current flowing through the wire, and the type of core material used. Generally, the more coils and current, the stronger the electromagnet will be. However, it is important to note that an electromagnet's strength is temporary and can be turned off by disconnecting the power source.

## 4. Can I control the strength of an electromagnet?

Yes, the strength of an electromagnet can be controlled by adjusting the amount of current flowing through the wire. This can be done by using a variable power supply or by adding or removing coils from the wire. The type and size of the core material can also affect the strength of the electromagnet.

## 5. What safety precautions should I take when making an electromagnet?

When making an electromagnet, it is important to handle the battery and wire with caution to avoid electric shocks. It is also important to use insulated wire to prevent short circuits. Additionally, be careful not to leave the electromagnet connected to the power source for too long as it can overheat and potentially cause a fire. Always follow safety guidelines and supervise children when making and using electromagnets.

• General Engineering
Replies
17
Views
3K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
991
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
9
Views
323
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
2
Views
227
• Engineering and Comp Sci Homework Help
Replies
4
Views
517
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
970
• Electromagnetism
Replies
23
Views
95
• Electromagnetism
Replies
2
Views
832
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
1K