Strength of Electromagnets

 Materials Required

Iron bolts-Thin/Thick/ plastic pipe, copper wire turns (20,40,60), A battery of 2,3,4,5 cells, a switch, shoe nails.


 The Procedure

Real Lab Procedure

  • To make an electromagnet, take the enamelled copper wire and wind it tightly around the iron bolt in the form of a coil. Let it have 20 turns that run parallel to each other.  
  • Make 2 more electromagnets with 40 and 60 turns. 
  • Rub the free ends of the wires of each electromagnet with the sand paper to remove the enamel coating. 
  • Connect the electromagnet with 20 turns to a battery of 2 cells through a switch. 
  • Place some shoe nails near the end of the bolt and switch on the current. 
  • Count the number of nails attracted by this electromagnet. 
  • Switch off the current. Observe that the coil loses most of its magnetism though a few nails may still cling to the electromagnet. 
  • Repeat this activity with other electromagnets of 40 and 60 turns. 
  • Instead of an iron bolt, wind 60 turns of enamelled copper wire around a plastic pipe and observe if it acts as an electromagnet. 
  • Count the number of nails attracted by it. 


Simulator Procedure 

  • Select the number of turns of wire. 
  • Select the Number of electric cells. 
  • Select the core of electromagnet. 
  • Click on the check box to refer the circuit diagram. 
  • Drag and drop the copper wire from the top of the iron bolt towards the battery to connect it with the positive end of it. 
  • Drag and drop the copper wire from the bottom of the iron bolt towards the switch to connect it with one side of the switch. 
  • Drag and drop the copper wire from battery towards the switch to connect the negative end of it with the other end of the switch and complete the connection.  
  • Click on the switch to on the circuit. 
  • Drag and drop the dish containing iron nails towards the bottom of the iron bolt. 
  • Observe the number of nails attracted.  
  • Click on the switch to off the circuit and try other combinations to understand the difference in attraction. 
  • Click on the ‘Reset’ button to redo the experiment with different parameters. 



  • The electromagnet loses its magnetism when the electric current is switched off. 
  • Larger number of nails are attracted by the electromagnet with more number of turns. 
  • The electromagnet with plastic core attracted very less number of nails compared to the electromagnet with iron core.  



  • An electromagnet can be made by wrapping a wire around a piece of iron and passing current through it. 
  • The strength of an electromagnet depends upon the number of turns of the wire and the core used to make the electromagnet.