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AC GENERATOR

Faraday's Experiment

Michael Faraday was a 19th century English scientist who is credited with
many great discoveries in the realm of physics and chemistry, specifically on
the relationship between current and magnets, and electrochemistry.

Current is the flow of electrons from one place to another, and is how
electricity is carried. Currents are known to create their own magnetic fields,
and the movement of magnets is known to induce, or create, current in a
wire. In this lab, you will recreate Faraday’s famous experiment by building a
solenoid (a coil of wire) and experimenting with magnets to produce current.
Objective: Induce current in a wire with a magnet.

Hypothesis:
What will happen when you pass a strong magnet through a loop of copper
wire?

Materials

 magnet
 Insulated copper wire
 Led (sensitive current-measuring device)/ led bulb or view meter.
Procedure
1. Wrap the copper wire tightly around the cardboard tube to create a
solenoid. Wrap as many times as you can and be sure to leave a few
inches at each end to connect to the Led.
2. Connect each loose end of the wire to the positive and negative
terminals of the Led or view meter.
3. Switch on the Led or view meter.
4. Insert the magnet inside the cardboard tube and move it around. What
happens? Record your observations.
5. Try moving the magnet faster or slower. What happens?
6. Turn off the Led and disconnect one of the terminals.
7. Reduce the number of turns in the solenoid. Reconnect and switch on
the Led.
8. Insert the magnet inside the cardboard tube and move it around again.
What happens? Record your observations. Does the number of coils
affect the amount of current generated?
Results
The faster the magnet moves, the more current is generated in the loop. The
same is true of the coils: the more coils in the solenoid, the more current
generated.

Why?

In Faraday's experiment, the magnet exerts a force from a distance (within


the tube) and acts on the electrons to move them around. This is easy with
copper wire because the electrons move around with little resistance
(explaining why copper is such a great conductor). It is important that the wire
forms a closed loop (complete circuit) or this will not work! The magnetic field
acts on all parts of the loop in slightly different ways, due to the direction of
the magnetic field. The field pushes the current in one direction or the other,
depending on which pole of the magnet is approaching. This can be figured
out with the right-hand-rule.

A “thumbs-up” motion is made with the ride hand. The thumb represents the
direction of the magnetic field and the curve of the fingers is representative of
the direction of the current in the loop.

Motors and generators use magnetic movement to create current and send
electricity to do useful work to power machines. Auroras in the sky are
caused by particles being electrically charged by the magnetic field of the
Earth. Electromagnetism is both useful and beautiful!