Current & Magnetic Fields | Magnetism | Physics | FuseSchool

Click here to see more videos: CREDITS Animation & Design: Joshua Thomas ( Narration: Dale Bennett Script: Bethan Parry Electromagnets are incredibly useful. They can do all the things a normal magnet can do, but can also be switched on and off. Electromagnets have many uses, from moving cars in a scrap yard to high-speed Maglev trains. The trains are suspended above the rails by strong electromagnets, reducing friction between the train and the track. And there are many, many other uses as well. When a current flows in a wire, it creates a circular magnetic field around the wire. The strength of the magnetic field is greater: • closer to the wire • if the current is increased • by adding a core that is made of magnetic material, and wrapping the wire around it. This is known as a solenoid. The magnetic field around a straight wire isn’t very strong, and so coiling the wire around an iron core creates a stronger electromagnet. This is sometimes known as a solenoid. We can use an iron nail to create a simple electromagnet. The strength of the solenoid electromagnet can be increased by: ● increasing the number of coils ● increasing the current. More coils, the stronger the electromagnet and so the more paper clips you can pick up! So that graph has the number of coils on the x-axis. How do you think the graph would look if we instead had the current on the x-axis? What would the relationship be between the current and number of paper clips? Pause the video, and have a think. They also both increase together. As the current increases, the strength of the magnet increases and so it can pick up more paper clips. So there you have it, electromagnets are extremely useful and we can switch them on and off, as well as control their strength. VISIT us at, where all of our videos are carefully organised into topics and specific orders, and to see what else we have on offer. Comment, like and share with other learners. You can both ask and answer questions, and teachers will get back to you. These videos can be used in a flipped classroom model or as a revision aid. Access a deeper Learning Experience in the FuseSchool platform and app: This Open Educational Resource is free of charge, under a Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC ( View License Deed: ). You are allowed to download the video for nonprofit, educational use. If you would like to modify the video, please contact us:

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