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Published by tapas kundu

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Published by: tapas kundu on Nov 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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You will need: horseshoe magnet, sheet of paper, some iron filings, a few books.

With the help of two small piles of books you can fix the magnet upright with the poles at
the top. Over them lay a sheet of paper, and sprinkle some iron filings lightly on top.
The little particles of iron set themselves in curved lines spreading out from the poles
of the magnet. These lines are known as lines of force; they show the direction of the
magnetic attraction. By tapping on the paper very gently you can improve the appearance
of the lines.

The curved lines formed by the iron filings certainly have the appearance of fingerprints,
and so it is not too fanciful to speak of a magnet’s ‘fingerprints’. If you have two
magnets you can make quite a different set of fingerprints appear. Lay the two magnets
down flat, close enough for you to feel the force of repulsion between them. They must
therefore have like poles facing each other. Over the magnets lay a sheet of paper and
sprinkle iron filings on it. The filings set themselves in patterns which clearly demonstrate
that like poles repel each other. Quite a different pattern appears if you reverse the position
of one magnet so that unlike poles are opposite each other. It is wise to put a piece of
wood or card between the magnets now, or they may jump together.

Instead of paper you could use a sheet of glass for this experiment.

Fishing with a magnetic fishing rod is quite possible
provided that you look for iron fish! Cut some fish out of
cardboard or thin wood. With cardboard fish one or more
paperclips will have to be used to make the weight right.
The fish must neither float nor sink, but must stay
suspended in the water. You can fix a bit of tinplate round
the wooden fishes.

Your fishing rod is made from a stick to which a piece of
string is tied. A horseshoe magnet is tied to the other end
of the string. Then the children can go fishing.

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