Related Labs, Activities, and Other CoolStuff
Forget the mess of iron filings and the constraints of two-dimensional representations of magnetic fields - this self-contained device reveals the proper, three-dimensional nature of magnetic lines of force. The sealed acrylic box contains iron filings suspended in a silicone oil solution. A cylindrical magnet (included) is dropped into a central chamber to create the three-dimensional field. Other magnets can be applied to the sides or ends of the box to demonstrate interesting interactions between fields. Although primarily designed for individual study, the observation box can also be placed on an overhead projector for a two-dimensional demonstration of the field (4" x 2" x 2").
Activities and uses
Use the Magnetic Field Observation Box to study magnetic fields in three dimensions. Look at the field from a single provided magnet or bring iron or another magnet near and see the results.
A sample activity from the datasheet is given below.
Bring another magnet close to the box and insert the bar magnet in the hole. The iron powder is magnetized in two areas showing attraction and repulsion of magnetic forces.
In using this product, many of the national and states' science education standards are covered. Some examples are provided here. These are representative, however. Check with your state to find the exact standards.
- Students can create a representation of magnetic field lines around a bar magnet and qualitatively describe how the relative strength and direction of the magnetic force changes at various points.
- Students understand that magnets exert forces on all objects made of ferromagnetic materials (e.g. iron, cobalt, and nickel) as well as other magnets.
- Students can describe the forces exerted by magnets, electrically charged objects, and gravity.
- Students understand that magnetic forces act at a distance.
- Students know electric and magnetic fields contain energy and act as vector force fields
- Students understand that magnetic fields accompany magnets and are related to the strength and direction of the magnetic force.