How to Make an Electromagnet

The study of Oersted’s experiment and electromagnetism led to new ways of harnessing electric power. One way is the electromagnet, which has many practical applications.

Materials you will need:
  • Energizer® Power Pack
  • Switch or alternate commercial knife blade switch
  • One No. 20 nail, paper clips, and thumb tacks
  • One 6" piece and one 2-yard piece of number 22 insulated copper bell wire with approximately 1" of insulation stripped off all ends
  1. 1. Wind about 100 turns of the 2 yard piece of wire around the nail wind-yard-wire-around-nail
  2. 2. Connect one wire end to the switch and the other end to the positive (+) terminal of the “Power Pack”. Connect the remaining 6” wire between the switch and the negative (-) terminal of the “Energizer® Power Pack”.connect-wire-to-switch-and-energizer-power-pack
  3. 3. With the switch open try to pick up some paper clips and tacks. What happens? open-switch-no-charge
  4. 4. Close the switch and try to pick up the same paper clips and tacks. What happens? closed-switch-with-magnetic-charge

You can increase the power of your electromagnet by winding more turns of wire around the nail. You could also use transformer wire with an enamel exterior to get more wraps around the nail.