Seeing Magnetic Field Patterns in 3D
Have a physics enthusiast in your classroom or home? This neat science fair project from Bill Beaty of Science Hobbyist will actually allow your student to explore magnetic field patterns - in 3D!
Magnetic fields, caused by moving electrically charged particles and inherent in magnets, are invisible "bands" that predict how magnetized objects will interact with one another and can be used as a guide to determine which direction a compass will point. Always running in a circle, magnetic fields have no discernible end, can be stretched (like a rubber band), and never cross. Additionally, magnetic fields always start at a magnetized object's north pole and end at its south pole.
Students will create a magnetic field viewer from common household and workshop items with which to explore various magnetic field patterns. Beaty suggests holding a bar magnets in various positions for comparison:
Use one magnet. Hold it sideways 1/2" to 1" from the bottle.
Use one magnet. Hold it up and down 1/2" to 1" from the bottle.
Use two magnets. Hold them sideways 1/2" to 1" from the bottle. Have like poles directed toward each other.
Use two magnets. Hold them sideways 1/2" to 1" from the bottle. Have opposite poles directed toward each other.
For project instructions, a list of needed materials, a helpful video, and project variations and extensions, be sure to visit Science Hobbyist for the full post!