Lauren Sasine

The Magnetic Field of a Permanent Magnetic and in a Slinky
Lab 10 A and Two B
April 29, 2014
Physics Lab 2, Tuesday, 6pm

The purpose of the first part of this lab is to measure the free fall acceleration of an
object, showing it is equivalent to the gravity of earth, using a picket fence and a Photogate. The
purpose of the second part of this lab is measure the speed and acceleration of a cart rolling down
an incline, then determine the relationship, mathematically, between the angle of the incline and
the acceleration of the cart rolling down the ramp. The value of free fall acceleration will be
determined by a graph of acceleration versus sine of the incline angle. The hypothesis is that the
free fall acceleration, determined in part a, is constant during free fall, and is equal to gravity on
earth. During the second part of the lab, a relationship will be determined between the angle of
the incline and the acceleration. An object is in free fall when the only force acting on it is the
earth’s gravitational force. When the object is close to the surface of the earth, the gravitational
force on it is nearly constant, resulting in the object accelerating downward at a constant rate.
When on an incline, the acceleration is directly proportional to the sine of the inclined angle.

The purpose of the first part of the experiment was to show how the magnetic field of a
small magnet varies with distance. The purpose of the second part of the experiment was to show
how the magnetic field in a slinky is affected by length and current. The hypothesis is that as the
current increases, the magnetic field strength will increase as well. The opposite is hypothesized
for length, that as the slinky increases in length, the magnetic field will decrease. Both
experiments will be carried out using a Magnetic Field Sensor.
A magnet is an object that produces a magnetic field. A magnet is made from materials
than can be magnetized, including iron, nickel, and cobalt. These are called ferromagnetic
materials. The strength of a magnet can be measured by its magnetic movement, or the magnetic
flux. This points from the south to the north end of the magnet. Another term for this is the
magnet’s magnetic dipole movement. This dipole movement is not limited to a physical bar of
magnet. It can be created with an electrical current through a loop.
A solenoid is a helix of wire, invented by French physicist Andre-Marie Ampere.
Children most commonly associate a solenoid with the toy the Slinky. The solenoid can be
created by wrapping a tube many times with a wire. Since a Slinky is the same shape and made
of metal material, it will be used in this experiment. The magnetic field inside the coils of the
Slinky can be measured using the Magnetic Field Sensor. It can also be used to determine the
permeability constant. The permeability constant is also known as the vacuum constant or the
magnetic constant. It is the measure of a material’s resistance encountered when a magnetic field
is formed in a vacuum.

Part A: Magnetic Field of a Permanent Magnet
The ruler and magnet was set up according to the lab manual. The Magnetic Field Sensor
was set to 6.4mT, and connected to the LabQuest. With the sensor 4cm from the magnet, the data
was collected. During data collection, the magnet was kept in place and the Magnetic Field
Sensor was moved back in 2cm intervals, for a total of 10cms, with the data at each point being
saved. A graph was created on the LabQuest and analyzed. The left most point was recorded,
which was used to determine model parameter A. Using this parameter, the magnetic moment
was calculated.
Part B: The Magnetic Field in a Slinky
A slinky was stretched to 1m on a table. The Magnetic Field Sensor was set to 0.3mT and
the current was set to 2A. With the sensor placed in the different spots in the slinky, the area with
the strongest magnetic field was determined. The Magnetic Field Sensor was then placed in the
center of the slinky, the current was adjusted to 0A and data collected was started. The current
was increased 0.5A, up to 2A, with data being saved at each interval. The graph of magnetic
field versus current was plotted and the number of turns per meter was recorded.
After recording the data from the graph on the LabQuest, the current was adjusted to 1A,
and the magnetic field was measured using the LabQuest. The average magnetic field was
recorded, at different lengths of the slinky, 0.5m to 2m. The graph of magnetic field versus
number of turns per meter was graphed.

Part A:
Table 1: The left most points X and Y, used to determine the model parameter, and the magnetic
movement of the magnetic field.
Left most point X value X
Left most point Y value Y
Model parameter A 2.1E-4

Magnetic Movement, µ
1.05 A m

Part B
Table 2: The magnetic field in the solenoid as current increases and the slope of the graph
representing magnetic field versus current.
Current in Solenoid I (A) Magnetic Field B (mT)
0.5 0.0178
1.0 0.0550
1.5 0.0944
2.0 0.2072

Length of solenoid (m) 1m
Number of turns 82 turns
Turns/m (m
) 82
Magnetic field vs. current
Slope 0.1215
Intercept -0.058

Table 3: The magnetic field of the solenoid as the length changes and the slope of the graph
representing magnetic field versus number of turns.
Length of Solenoid (m) Turns/meter n (m
) Magnetic Field B (mT)
0.5m 164 0.266
1m 82 0.0949
1.5m 55 0.0787
2m 41 0.0349

Magnetic Field vs. Turns/meter n
Slope 0.00181
Number of turns in slinky -0.036
Current (A) 1.0

Table 1 shows the left most points for X and Y, which are used to determine the model
parameter A. This value is then used to determine the magnetic movement, signified by µ, which
is a quantity that determines the torque the magnet will experience in a magnetic field.
Table 2 shows the magnetic field in the solenoid as the current increases. The magnetic
field is directly proportional to the current in the solenoid. As it shows, as the current increases,
so does the magnetic field. The hypothesis stated was correct in this means. It was also correct
for the relationship between length of solenoid and magnetic field strength. As shown in table 3,
as the length of the solenoid increases from 0.5m to 2m, the magnetic field strength decreases.
They are indirectly proportional.
There were errors made during this experiment that could have led to skewed data.
Inaccurate readings of distances on the meter stick during part one could have skewed the model
parameter A and the magnetic movement. In the second part, inaccurate measuring of the length
of the slinky and current could have also skewed the date.

Overall, this experiment was successful in showing how a magnet and it’s magnetic field
is affected by different things, including distance from sensor, length of solenoid, and amount of
current through the solenoid.

GC Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy Department. 2
Semester Physics Laboratory. Rev 2.4
[2014]. April 29, 2014.