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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Magnets exist because when the electron spins in an object are all aligned in the same direction the material is magnetized. Normally, these electron spins are not aligned and the magnetic field is scattered. When the minor magnetic fields are scattered, no magnetic field is generated because the small magnetic fields cancel out. Therefore, in a magnet when the poles line up with the north poles facing one end of an object and the south poles facing the other end. This arrangement creates a magnet. The more domains pointing in the same direction creates a stronger magnet.
Attraction is the pull force a magnet has for another object. You can’t see this force - but you can feel it. This object a magnet is attracted to may be a metal or another magnet’s opposite pole. When a magnet gets near a metal it is attracted to, the electrons in the metal are realigned and their small magnetic domains line up to be attracted to the magnet. This attraction is temporary. After the magnet is removed from the metal the objects will randomly scatter their magnet poles back to where they were before they were attracted to the magnet. A magnets strongest area of attraction is at the poles.
Repulsion is the pushing away force a magnet has for another magnet lined up in the same direction. These attractive and repulsive forces create a magnetic force field around every magnet. These force fields are invisible but can be seen by placing magnets near iron filings. The iron filings will line up along the magnetic force field.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Experiment 1: Magnet Properties
Experiment 2: Finding the North and South Poles of a Magnet
Experiment 3: Magnetic Fields of Permanent Magnets
A magnetic field is the area in which a magnetic force is present. We can't see magnetic fields, but we can show their pattern by scattering iron filings in the magnetic field. The iron filings then become magnetized and line up with the magnetic field of the magnets.
Experiment 4: Making a floating compass - Sailors used Floating compasses as early as the thirteenth century. The sailors used the floating needle to find north during cloudy weather when they couldn't see the stars.
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