In this activity, students will investigate electromagnetic induction, the principle behind electric generators.
In 1820, Hans Christian Ørsted found that electricity could create magnetism. Scientists were convinced that if electricity could create magnetism, magnetism could create electricity. Still, 11 years would pass before the induction of electricity from magnetism would be discovered and understood. The best minds of the day set out to make this widely anticipated discovery, but it was Michael Faraday who put all the pieces together. In this activity, we will use a magnet to create an electric current and see how this effect is applied in electric generators.
Bar magnet (strong alnico magnet is recommended), air core solenoid or a long wire coiled into many loops, connecting wires, galvanometer (–500 µA – 0 – +500 µA recommended), hand-held generator (Genecon® or equivalent), access to a second hand-held generator