Does a magnetic field go through things?
- Magnets of different sizes and shapes
- Thick Cardboard
- Copy paper
- Clear cup filled with water
- Metal paper clip – or other magnetic item
- Notice how certain items are attracted to a magnet.
- See how you can pick them up when you just wave your magnet near them.
Do you have to actually touch the object to pick it up?
- Do you think that magnetic force can travel through things?
- Try it!
- Put your magnetic object on one side of a piece of paper and put your magnet on the other side.
Does it still get attracted to the magnet?
Is it as strong of a pull, or does it weaken a little?
- How about through water? Does your magnet work through water?
- Put your magnetic item in a glass of water. Can you get it out without getting your magnet wet? Try it!
The flow of a magnetic field doesn’t get blocked easily. Think about the fact that the whole Earth is a giant magnet! The flow of the magnetic field of a magnet is able to travel through many things, depending on how strong the magnet is!
Try different magnets and objects to see how strong of a field it is producing.
Can it travel through YOU?
How far out does the magnetic field go?
- Various types of magnets
- Various magnetic materials
- Lay a ruler on a flat surface.
- Place a magnetic object at end of the ruler, at the side with the number 1.
- Slide your magnet along your ruler from the higher numbers towards the number one.
- Make a hypothesis about how close you will have to get to the magnetic object before it gets caught in the magnetic field of the magnet.
The magnetic field of a magnet flows like a river out of the north pole and into the south pole. Depending on the strength of the magnet, that river can travel further away from the magnet itself.
Some magnets are stronger than others and some magnetic objects get caught easier than others.
Test different objects and magnets. See which combination of magnet and magnetic object gets attracted furthest away!