# How to Make a Simple Electromagnet

The magnetic properties of an electromagnet are not permanent because of the fact that electromagnets are formed when current flows through a coil. All metals which can be magnetised will also become electromagnets if placed with the magnetic field created by a wire through which current is passing. However, as soon as the flow of current stops, electromagnets will lose their magnetic power.

Using this basic principle, you can easily make a simple electromagnet. All you need is a long piece of wire, a 12 volt battery, a large nail and a few paper clips.

### Instructions

• 1

Remember that you will have to place the nail in the magnetic field of a wire through which current is flowing. To accomplish this, cut a piece of insulated wire long enough to completely wrap around the nail. For an average sized nail, a two feet length of wire should be good enough.

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• 2

Using a wire stripper, strip off about an inch of insulation on both ends of the wire. This is to make connections to the battery.

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• 3

Tightly wrap the insulated wire around the nail. Cover as much area of the nail as possible. Remember to leave at least a couple of inches of wire hanging at both ends of the nail.

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• 4

Connect on end of the wire to the positive terminal of a 12 volt battery and the other end to the negative terminal. As soon as you have made the connections, current will start flowing through wire wrapped around the nail. The current will create a magnetic field of its own which will turn the nail into an electromagnet.

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• 5

Bring the electromagnet near a few paper clips to establish its magnetic power. The paper clips will cling to the electromagnet.

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• 6

To demagnetise the nail, you just need to stop the current flow in the wire. Do this by simply disconnecting one of the battery terminal connections. As soon you do so, the paper clips clinging to the nail will fall off showing that the nail is no longer an electromagnet.

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