# Earth's Magnetic Field EX-9913

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Earth's Magnetic Field
EQUIPMENT
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1

INCLUDED:
Magnetic Field Sensor
Zero Gauss Chamber
Rotary Motion Sensor
Dip Needle
Universal Table Clamp
45 cm Stainless (non-magnetic) Steel Rod
NOT INCLUDED, BUT REQUIRED:
ScienceWorkshop 500 or 750 Interface
DataStudio Software

CI-6520A
EM-8652
CI-6538
SF-8619
ME-9376B
ME-8736
ME-8744
CI-6400
CI-6870

INTRODUCTION
The magnitude and direction of the Earth's magnetic field are measured using a Magnetic Field
Sensor mounted on a Rotary Motion Sensor. The Magnetic Field Sensor is rotated through 360
degrees by rotating the Rotary Motion Sensor pulley by hand. The Magnetic Field Sensor is
zeroed using the Zero Gauss Chamber, the walls of which are made of a highly permeable
material which redirects the magnetic field around the chamber.
THEORY
The magnitude of the Earth's field varies over the surface of the Earth. The horizontal
component of the Earth's magnetic field points toward North (magnetic South). The north end of
a compass needle is attracted to the south end of the Earth's magnetic field. So the pole which is
referred to as "North" is actually a south magnetic pole.
The total
field points at an angle from the
horizontal.
This angle () is called the dip
angle. An
example for the Northern
BHorizontal
hemisphere
is shown in Figure 1.

θ

cos  

BVertical

BTotal

Written by Ann Hanks

B Horizontal
BTotal

Attach the Adjustable Angle Clamp to the Rotary Motion Sensor. computers. Put the oring on the largest step of the pulley. Align the key in the hollow handle with the slot on the Rotary Motion Sensor shaft and slide the Magnetic Field Sensor onto the Rotary Motion Sensor shaft (see Figure 2). Also keep away from all ferromagnetic materials (iron. 4. 3. 1. Attach the Rotary Motion Sensor to the support rod. Figure 2: Complete Setup Written by Ann Hanks . steel chairs and tables). Put the pulley on the side of the Rotary Motion Sensor that is opposite to the Magnetic Field Sensor. The table clamp is mostly aluminum. bar magnets). keep the apparatus away from all sources of magnetic fields (electrical. 5. Use the provided nonmagnetic stainless steel rod in the table clamp. This pulley will be used to rotate the Magnetic Field Sensor by hand. Screw the handle onto the Magnetic Field Sensor.Earth's Magnetic Field EX-9913 Page 2 of 4 Figure 1: Components of the Magnetic Field (Northern Hemisphere) SETUP NOTE: During this experiment. computer interface. 2.

DataStudio will automatically stop when 360 degrees is reached. Slip the Zero Gauss Chamber over the Magnetic Field Sensor probe and press the tare button on top of the Magnetic Field Sensor. PROCEDURE Horizontal Component of the Magnetic Field of the Earth 1. 5. 2. Plug the Magnetic Field Sensor into Channel A on the interface. Open the DataStudio file called "Earth Mag Field". 4. For example: B = smooth(8. Put the Dip Needle in its horizontal orientation and position the Dip Needle directly below the Rotary Motion Sensor. click on START in DataStudio. Use the Rotary Motion Sensor case as a reference to the general direction of the Earth's magnetic field. orienting it away from the Magnetic Field Sensor so it won't be in the way when the Magnetic Field Sensor is rotated. Slide the Angle Indicator onto the end of the Rotary Motion Sensor. This will ensure that the maximum on the Magnetic Field Sensor will not be exceeded during the experiment. 3. Slowly and steadily rotate the Rotary Motion Sensor pulley through 360 degrees. Click on Accept. At what angle from the starting position is the magnetic field maximum? Does this approximately correspond to the direction of the Earth's field as shown by the compass needle? Written by Ann Hanks . 8. Rotate the Magnetic Field Sensor so the length of the probe is perpendicular to the direction of the Earth's field as indicated by the Rotary Motion Sensor case.x)). Examine the graph of the magnetic field strength versus angle. With the Magnetic Field Sensor still aligned as in Part 3. 7.smooth(8. Be sure to rotate in the direction which gives positive angles. To allow the Magnetic Field Sensor to rotate in a horizontal circle. Plug the Rotary Motion Sensor into Channels 1 and 2 on the ScienceWorkshop 500 interface. Set the sensor's gain switch to x100. enter a smoothing factor (try 8) into the DataStudio calculator. Set the sensor's direction switch on axial to measure the magnetic field aligned with the sensor probe. Remove the Dip Needle so its magnetic field won't interfere with the experiment. 6. Remove the screw and nut from the Angle Indicator because they are ferromagnetic and will interfere with this experiment. Align the case of the Rotary Motion Sensor with the compass needle. adjust the Rotary Motion Sensor clamp so the angle indicator reads 90 degrees with the Magnetic Field Sensor on top.Earth's Magnetic Field EX-9913 Page 3 of 4 6. 9. You should see the graph update with smoother data. To eliminate magnetic noise from electrical circuits.

To eliminate magnetic noise from electrical circuits. Which direction is North (magnetic South)? Remember the magnetic field reads positive when the field points into the end of the sensor. Point the Magnetic Field Sensor probe horizontally. For example: B = smooth(8. Put the end of the Magnetic Field Sensor all the way into the Zero Gauss Chamber and press the tare button on the Magnetic Field Sensor. enter a smoothing factor (try 8) into the DataStudio calculator.x)). Total Magnetic Field of the Earth 1. Is this angle above or below horizontal? Why? How does your location on the Earth affect this? Written by Ann Hanks . At what angle from horizontal is the magnetic field maximum and negative? This is the dip angle. With the Magnetic Field Sensor still horizontal. 6. Does the compass needle point in the same direction indicated by the magnetic field maximum? 8. Examine the graph of the magnetic field strength versus angle made when the Magnetic Field Sensor was rotated in the vertical plane. Keep the Rotary Motion Sensor aligned with the Earth's field as shown by the compass needle (Dip Needle). Use the Smart Cursor to measure from the peak to the trough and determine the maximum value of the horizontal component of the magnetic field. Click on Accept. Use the Smart Cursor to measure from the peak to the trough and determine the maximum value of the total magnetic field.Earth's Magnetic Field EX-9913 Page 4 of 4 7. 5. adjust the Rotary Motion Sensor clamp so the angle indicator reads zero degrees. The Dip Angle 1. To allow the Magnetic Field Sensor to rotate in a vertical circle.smooth(8. 4. Use the horizontal component and the total magnetic field to calculate the dip angle. 2. 3. 2. You should see the graph update with smoother data. Slowly and steadily rotate the Rotary Motion Sensor pulley through 360 degrees and until the program automatically stops recording data. click on START in DataStudio.