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PHYS1110 Investigation 6

To investigate simulations of the magnetic field around a bar magnet and the Earth.

Risk Assessment
No significant risks were involved in performing this investigation, as it was performed in a computer

Part 1: Magnetic field of a bar magnet and the Earth

Part 1: Results
𝑠⃗ Magnetic Field Strength (G)
(cm) Strength = 75% Strength = 85% Strength = 95%
1 2 3 Avg 1 2 3 Avg 1 2 3 Avg
0.5 37.61 39.44 40.74 39.263 44.98 44.69 47.17 45.613 50.10 49.95 51.60 50.550
1.0 14.76 15.45 14.59 14.933 16.81 17.51 16.54 16.953 18.75 19.57 18.48 18.933
1.5 7.11 7.57 7.27 7.317 8.59 8.58 8.24 8.470 9.31 9.59 9.21 9.370
2.0 4.15 4.25 4.22 4.207 4.71 4.81 4.78 4.767 5.15 5.38 5.34 5.290
2.5 2.67 2.72 2.67 2.687 2.97 3.09 3.02 3.027 3.39 3.45 3.38 3.407
3.0 1.84 1.87 1.84 1.850 2.05 2.12 2.08 2.083 2.29 2.37 2.32 2.327
3.5 1.31 1.33 1.33 1.323 1.48 1.51 1.51 1.500 1.66 1.68 1.68 1.673
4.0 0.98 1.00 0.97 0.983 1.12 1.13 1.10 1.117 1.25 1.26 1.23 1.247
4.5 0.76 0.77 0.76 0.763 0.84 0.87 0.86 0.857 0.95 0.98 0.96 0.963
5.0 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.600 0.68 0.68 0.68 0.680 0.76 0.76 0.76 0.760
Uncertainty in Magnetic Field Strength
𝑀𝑎𝑥 𝑀𝑎𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝐹𝑖𝑒𝑙𝑑 𝑆𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ − 𝑀𝑖𝑛 𝑀𝑎𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝐹𝑖𝑒𝑙𝑑 𝑆𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ


Uncertainty in Length
𝑀𝑎𝑥 𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ − 𝑀𝑖𝑛 𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ


This method for calculating uncertainty was chosen as there were error involved with repeatedly
placing the detector exactly the intended distances.


Magnetic Field Strength at a given Distance

Magnetic Field Strength (G)





-5 0 1 2 3 4 5
Distance (cm)

75% 85% 95%

From the graph, there appears to be an inverse power relationship between magnetic field strength
and distance.


Magnetic Field Strength vs 1/d2

Magnetic Field Strength (G)






0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5
1/d2 (cm)

75% 85% 95%

The graphs suggest that the relationship between magnetic field strength and distance appear to
follow an inverse square law. This was confirmed from plotting 1/d2 vs magnetic field strength as
most of the data lied close to the line of best fit despite showing a slight curvature.

Magnetic fields exist in a way such that it creates a closed loop. Outside the magnet, the field lines
travel from the North pole to the South pole, thus for the closed loop to exist, the field lines inside
the magnet must travel from South pole to North pole. Also, the magnetic field strength is stronger
inside the magnet than outside due to the higher density of field lines inside the magnet.

Describe the magnetic field lines around the Earth.

The magnetic field around the Earth curves towards the north and south poles, which is very similar
to that of a bar magnet. The magnetic south as colour-coded by white is aligned towards the upper
side while the red magnetic north is aligned towards the lower side. It can also be said that the
magnetic north is seeking the magnetic south through curved flux pathways.
The angle of declination is the angle between magnetic north and true north (geographic north).
Positive values indicate magnetic north is east of geographic north.

Angle of inclination is the angle formed by the compass when it is in a vertical orientation. Positive
values indicate magnetic field is pointing down towards the earth (Autoquad 2014).

Part 2: An electromagnet
Voltage (V) Magnetic Field Strength (G)
10 40.81
9 36.73
8 32.65
7 28.56
6 24.48
5 20.40
4 16.32
3 12.24
2 8.16
1 4.08

Magnetic Field Strength vs Applied Voltage

Magnetic Field Strength (G)

40 y = 4.0813x - 0.004
0 2 4 6 8 10
Voltage (V)

Magnetic field strength was found to be directly proportional to voltage. This was expected as
magnetic field strength is given by:

𝜇0 𝐼
𝑉 = 𝐼𝑅 ⇒ 𝐼 =
∴𝐵= 𝑅⇒𝐵∝𝑉

Predict AC replacement and compare with results.

Replacing the battery from a DC voltage source to an AC source causes the direction of current flow
to reverse at a given frequency, hence causes the magnetic field strength to change constantly.

In the simulation, an AC supply caused the magnetic field strength to fluctuate to a maximum in one
direction and then decreases to zero and then a maximum in the opposite direction before
restarting the cycle again.
Part 3: Electromagnetic induction
Describe what happens when you drag the magnet through the coil.

When the magnet was dragged through the coil, the light bulb turned on. Upon further examination,
the intensity of the light bulb increased with the speed at which the magnet was dragged across the
coil. The voltmeter confirmed this quantitatively as it could be observed that voltage readings swung
from positive and negative.

By Faraday’s law:

Δ𝜙 Δ(𝐵 × 𝐴)
𝜀 = −𝑁 = −𝑁
Δ𝑡 Δ𝑡
𝜀 = 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑚𝑜𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒 (𝐸𝑀𝐹)
𝑁 = 𝑛𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑜𝑖𝑙 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑝𝑠
Δ represents the change in a given variable
𝜙 = 𝐵 × 𝐴 = 𝑀𝑎𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑥
𝐵 = 𝑀𝑎𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑓𝑖𝑒𝑙𝑑 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ
𝐴 = 𝐴𝑟𝑒𝑎 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑜𝑖𝑙
𝑡 = 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒
From this equation, it can be seen that the number of coils, the area of the loop and the magnetic
field strength is directly proportional to the induced EMF, and by increasing any of these factors, will
increase the induced voltage. By increasing the speed of the magnet as it travels through the coil,
this will decrease the time taken to pass through and according to Faraday’s Law, will increase the
induced voltage.

According to the Right Hand Rule, the direction the magnet is travelling ,will determined the
direction the induced current and voltage will travel. Thus the differing directions of the induced
voltage, is demonstrated through the ± enabling individuals to understand the direction the voltage
is travelling in.

Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Other Factors Factors affecting

sign of generated
Part 3 Speed of Magnetic Number of Area of the Direction the
dragging strength coils coil magnet is moving
magnet relative to the coil

Part 4: A transformer
Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Other Factors Factors affecting
sign of generated
Part 4 Area of the Number of AC current Number of Direction the
larger coil coils in larger supply loops in the magnet is travelling
coil smaller coil
Δ𝜙 Δ(𝐵×𝐴)
By Faraday’s Law, the voltage induced is given by 𝜀 = −𝑁 Δ𝑡 = −𝑁 Δ𝑡
𝜀𝑠 𝑉𝑠 𝑁𝑠
=𝑉 =𝑁

As mentioned above, according to Faraday’s Law an increase in the area or number of loops in the
larger coil will increase the voltage induced. Similarly, a larger AC current supply in the
electromagnet will increase the magnetic field strength and thus increase the induced EMF.
Assuming all others are kept, a larger amount of loops in the smaller coil will increase the voltage
generated, as shown in the second equation.

Predict what will happen when AC is connected to the small coil

When AC is connected to the small coil, the current will consistently change directions inside the
small coil and thus create a fluctuating magnetic field. As the small coil is passed through the larger
coil, the changing magnetic field, will induce a voltage which will change directions, similar to that of
the AC current in the small coil. Compared to the DC current, where the light bulb remain lit up
when the coil was pass through, the AC current would cause the light bulb to flicker when it passes
through the larger coil.

Part 5: Generator
Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Other Factors Factors affecting
sign of generated
Part 5 Number of Area of loop Rate of water Direction of the
loops flow magnetic field lines
𝑉 = 𝑁𝐵𝐴𝜔 sin(𝜔𝑡)

It can be seen clearly through this investigation that by utilising Faraday’s Law, the number of loops
and area of loops will increase the induced voltage as the number of loops, magnetic field strength
and area of loops is directly proportional to the induced voltage. However, by increasing the rate of
flow in the generator, this will decrease the amount of time required for the magnet to perform one
revolution and thus, increase the angular velocity. In the first equation above, it can be seen that the
velocity generated is also directly proportional to the angular velocity and thus a higher rate of
water flow will increase the velocity generated.

Explain whether the generator creates AC or DC

The generator of interest generates AC voltage as the direction of electron flow reverses
periodically. This is because as the water flows, it spins the magnet creating a magnetic field which
constantly changes in direction. The changing magnetic field creates a voltage and current which will
alternates in direction, which is known to be AC voltage.
In this investigation, it explores Faraday’s law was well as all the differing factors which affect the
Δ𝜙 Δ(𝐵×𝐴)
amount of EMF generated. From Faraday’s law 𝜀 = −𝑁 Δ𝑡 = −𝑁 Δ𝑡
, it can be seen that by
increasing the number of coils, increasing the magnetic field strength, or having a larger area in the
loop, this will increase the amount of voltage and current induced. Thus, this simulation as enabled
individuals to understand how voltage is generated in a generator, exploring the effects each factor
has on the amount of voltage generated.
References (2014). Magnetic Inclination and Declination | AutoQuad. [online] Available at:
calibrations/calibration-faq/magnetic-declination-and-inclination/ [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018].

Liu, Y. (2017). Magnetic Fields, the Earth, Faraday's Law and Generators. [online] StuDocu. Available
physics/essays/essay-investigation-6-grade-hd/616384/view [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018].