There's something almost magical about a magnet. A magnet creates a
magnetic field that pushes and pulls through thin air. Though magnetic
fields are invisible, you can see their effect on iron filings, compass
needles, and other magnets.
- Put this sheet of paper on top of the magnet and sprinkle some black
sand on it. Move the paper to different parts of the magnet. Describe
the pattern you see.
The black sand sticks together in spikes about
one-half-inch long. The spikes always point towards and away from
the north and south ends of the magnet no matter where the paper is
- Put your hand on the magnet and sprinkle sand on your hand. Does
the magnetic field pass through your hand? Yes
Look at the disk through the microscope and notice
the maze of tiny lines. These lines are tiny magnetized areas called
domains. The dark lines have their north poles facing up, and the bright
lines have their north poles facing down.
Bring the bar magnet near the disk. The south pole
of the magnet pulls up on the north end of the domains, making the disk
What does the other pole of the magnet do to the
The disk turns lighter.
Hold the spinner with the magnets under the table
and spin the spinner.
- How do the metal filings movethe same direction as your spin
or the opposite direction?
They move in the opposite direction.
- How do they move? Do they slide
around? Jump? Tumble end over end?
They seem to flip end over end. Sometimes they
- After you drag some black sand up from the bottom, let it go and
then quickly bring the magnet down the tube to catch sand particles
as they fall past.
Draw what it looks like as the magnet catches the particles.
- Now try this with both magnets.
Draw what it looks like as both magnets catch the particles.
- How can you get one of the magnets to stick to the upper part of
the tube without slipping down?
If you bring a lot of black particles up and
let them be attracted to the magnet, the magnet will stay in place.
- Which object is the easiest to move between the magnets? How does
it feel different when you try the other objects?
The aluminum rod (the one in the middle) is
the easiest to move between the magnets because it isnt attracted
to the magnet.
- Is there any way to get the aluminum rod (the one in the middle)
to stay stuck to one of the magnets? If you can do this, describe
or draw how you did it.
The only way Ive found to get the aluminum
rod to stay up is to trap it between three of the steel rods. However,
the aluminum rod is still not attracted to the magnet.
- Can you get the object between the copper bars to float? How?
Yes. The magnet between the two copper bars
will float if you carefully put the top magnet at just the right height,
but you constantly need to readjust where you place the top magnet.
- What's unusual about how the magnet between the copper pieces moves?
The reaction time of the magnetic field seems
to slow down.