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# Topic

:
Magnetic Fields
Purpose:
To study the behaviour of a bar magnet in varying magnetic fields at the end of a
solenoid and hence estimate the horizontal component B
H
of the Earth’s magnetic
fields.
Theory:
If a magnet is suspended from a thread, it always ends up pointing in the same
direction. One end point nearly to the North, the other to the South. The pole at the end
pointing North is called the south seeking pole or N pole. The pole at the end pointing
South is called the south seeking pole or S pole. This is, of course, the principle of a
compass. A compass needle is simply a magnet which is supported at its center of
gravity so that it can rotate freely. It is a familiar fact that when two magnets are brought
near one another, each exerts a force on the other. The force can be either attractive or
repulsive and can be felt even when the magnets do not touch. If the north pole of one
magnet is brought near the north pole of another magnet, the force is repulsive.
Similarly, if two south poles are brought close, the force is repulsive. But when a north
pole is brought near a south pole, the force is attractive. This shows that a like poles
repel and a unlike poles attract.
Magnetic field is the region around a magnet where any other magnet or
magnetic material coming into this field will experience a force. A magnetic field is a field
of force produced by a magnetic object or particle, or by a changing electrical field and
is detected by the force it exerts on other magnetic materials and moving electric
charges. The magnetic field at any given point is specified by both a direction and a
magnitude. The magnetic fields within and due to magnetic materials can be quite
complicated and is described using two separate fields which can be both called a
magnetic field: a magnetic B field and a magnetic H field. Energy is needed to create a
magnetic field. This energy can be reclaimed when the field is destroyed and, therefore,
can be considered as being "stored" in the magnetic field. The value of this energy
depends on the values of both B and H.
Magnetic fields have had many uses in ancient and modern society. The Earth
produces its own magnetic field, which is important in navigation since the north pole of
a compass points toward the south pole of Earth's magnetic field, located near the
Earth's geographical north. Rotating magnetic fields are utilized in both electrical motors
and generators. Magnetic forces give information about the charge carriers in a material
through the Hall effect. The interaction of magnetic fields in electrical devices such as
transformers is studied in the discipline of magnetic circuits.
A solenoid is a special term for a long coil made up of several turns of wire of the
same diameter. The magnetic field of each coil add up to give a strong field along the
centre line (the axis) of the solenoid. The magnetic field of a solenoid is very similar to
the field around a bar magnet. The coil behaves as if it has a N pole at one end and as
a S pole at the other end.
The value of the horizontal component B
H
of the Earth’s magnetic field can be
estimate using this formula:

(

)

Where µ
0
= 4 x 10
-7
Hm
-1
and l = 0.030m.

Apparatus:

(i) A retort stand and two clamps
(ii) A cork and an optical pin
(iii) A set of small bar magnet fixed with a pair of optical pins
(iv) A plane mirror attached to a protractor
(vi) A test-tube wound with copper wires
(vii) A 2V accumulator or any other stable power supply
(viii) A (0-1)A dc ammeter
(ix) An on-off switch and three connecting wires
(x) A rheostat
(xi) A pair of vernier callipers
(xii) A micrometer screw gauge

Procedure:
1) The cork with a pin was clamped to the retort stand and the bar magnet was
hang from the pin using the thread supplied, so that the magnet stays at a height
of about 5 cm above the table. All magnetic materials were kept away including
the ammeter. The magnet was allowed to stay stationary. The mirror with the
protractor was placed directly below the magnet and the 0° - 180° axis parallel to
the pins on the magnet.

2) The solenoid was hold in a horizontal position at the same level with the magnet.
The orientation of the solenoid was adjusted so that its axis is perpendicular to
the axis of the magnet. A rheostat, ammeter, power supply and switch were
connected to the solenoid in series. The ammeter should be kept at least 50 cm
from the magnet. The arrangement of the apparatus should look as in Figure
10a.

3) The rheostat was adjusted to maximum resistance and the switch was closed.
The reading, I of the ammeter was recorded and the average deflection ɵ of the
magnet from the 0° - 180° axis.
The value of the resistance or the rheostat was decreased in stage so as to
change the value of I and then the corresponding value of ɵ, was measured.
All measurements for and tan

4) A graph of tan against was plotted.

5) At the point where the gradient s of the graph of tan against .

6) The solenoid was removed and:
(i) the internal diameter D of the solenoid,
(ii) average diameter d of the wire used in the solenoid,
(iii) length L of the solenoid
were measured.
7) The values of d and L was used to estimate the number of turns N in the
solenoid.
8) The value of the horizontal component B
H
of the Earth’s magnetic field was
calculated using the following estimation:

(

)
Where µ
0
= 4 x 10
-7
Hm
-1
and l = 0.030m.

Result / Observation

Current, I /A Deflection, ɵ Tan ɵ
0.2 0
o
0
0.3 1.0
o
0.010
0.4 1.5
o
0.026
0.5 2.2
o
0.038
0.6 3.7
o
0.065
0.7 4.6
o
0.080
0.8 7.2
o
0.126
0.9 8.0
o
0.141
1.0 9.3
o
0.164

= 0.23

The internal diameter D of the solenoid = 18.71mm
= 18.7 x 10
-3
m

Average diameter d of the wire of solenoid = 1.30 mm
= 1.3 x 10
-3
m

Number of turns N in the solenoid = 35

Length L of the solenoid = d
2

=

= 0.14

Horizontal component of the Earth’s magnetic field,

(

)

B
H
=

{

}

= 3.61 x 10
-5
T

Discussion

In this experiment, we wanted to study the behaviour of a bar magnet in varying
magnetic fields at the end of a solenoid. Furthermore, we also estimated the horizontal
component B
H
of the Earth’s magnetic fields.
From my observation, when the magnet is suspended from a thread, it always
pointing in the same direction. One end points nearly to the North, the other to the
South. This occurs because unlike poles of a magnet are always attracted to each other
by the invisible lines of force whereas like poles repel each other. The earth acts like a
large permanent magnet. In fact, the earth is the largest magnet in the world. Its
magnetism is the result of electron convection currents in the liquid core, and they have
flipped around a few times in the past.
As we all know, we have seen that when current flows in a wire, a magnetic field
is created around the wire. Current is simply a bunch of moving electron, and moving
electrons make a magnetic field. This is how electromagnets are made to work. This
will be important to keep in mind as we zoom into the structure of atoms. So, when the
current is flow, the magnet was deflected from the solenoid.
Before we can estimate the horizontal component B
H
of the Earth’s magnetic
fields, we had faced many problems. We found that it is not easy to make sure that the
axis of the solenoid perpendicular to the axis of the magnet. So, we had adjusted the
solenoid that had been clamped to the retort stand carefully. Not only that, the magnet
that is suspended from the thread is always moving. So, the magnet was tied neatly.
Next, it also is hard to find observed the actual value of the deflection because the
magnet is always moving and oscillating. To ensure we get the accurate result, we had
repeated the experiment.
In this experiment, we found that,
Based on the experiment I found that, the internal diameter of the solenoid is
18.71mm, the average diameter of the wire of solenoid is 1.30 mm, length of the
solenoid is 140 mm by measuring the solenoid and wire by using the meter rule, venires
calipers and micrometer screw gauge. The most accurate measuring apparatus was
electric venier calipers. The value of number of turns in the solenoid is 35. Based on the
magnetic field formula, the result I get was 2.83 x 10
-5
T for horizontal component B
H
of
the Earth’s magnetic field. A graph of tan ɵ against I have been plotted. The graph
showed a straight line of tan ɵ against I. This showed that the tan ɵ is proportional to the
current, I. The gradient of the graph was 0.25.

Based on the magnetic field formula, the result I get was 3.61 x 10
-5
T for
horizontal component B
H
of the Earth’s magnetic field, but my estimation is no so
accurate because the actual value of the magnitude of earth’s magnetic field was 3.0 x
10
-5
T. A graph of tan ɵ against I have been plotted. The graph showed a straight line of
tan ɵ against I. This showed that the tan ɵ is proportional to the current, I.

Precaution Steps

1. To make sure the maximum deflection of the magnet with different current, the
solenoid should be hold in a horizontal position at the same level as the magnet.

2. Furthermore, the fan must be switched off to prevent the vibration of the magnet
to avoid random error occur.

3. Not only that, to prevent the ammeter affect the magnetic field of the magnet, the
ammeter should be kept at least 50 cm from the magnet.

4. We also must use the mirror in the ammeter to avoid the zero errors and parallax
error.

5. We need to place the eye on the line of view that perpendicular to the scale read
to avoid parallax error occur and take the wrong reading.

Conclusion

The magnitude of earth’s magnetic field is 3.0 x 10
-5
T. Based on my experiment
the value of the magnitude of earth’s magnetic field was 3.61 x 10
-5
T and it just
estimations. Besides that the magnet will showed deflection when placed with solenoid
because it will affected the magnetic field.

Reference

1)Books
Douglas C. Giancoli (2000). Physics for Scientists & Engineers (3
rd
ed.). USA. Prentice
Hall International, Inc.

Poh Liong Yong, Lee Beng Hin, Jonathan Wong ( 2007 ) Physics volume 2 Ace Ahead,
Oxford Fajar Sdn. Bhd

2)Internet

Magnetic Field . Retrieved 5 August, 2010, from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic Field
Solenoid. Retrieved August 5, 2010, from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solenoid