This (assessed) assignment forms one component of NIE2299. It aims to deepen your conceptual understanding of magnetostatic forces and fields. There are two 3-hour timetabled periods for you to undertake the practical and simulation work. If you complete all the practical work in the first timetabled session then you should use the time in the second timetabled session for writing up your report. The tutor will be on hand in the sessions to assist you (as far as is compatible with the explanations you give being your own work).
You may not be able to explain all of your experimental observations until close to the end of autumn term (i.e. after you have completed the lecture course). This is why the deadline has been set as it has. You are advised to start writing the report as soon as possible, however, adding explanatory material as you learn it. (You need to manage your time and leaving the entire report until you have covered all the relevant material in the lectures would risk overloading yourself with work at a time when several deadlines for submission of work across multiple modules might coincide.)
The word limit on your report (excluding title page, equations, words within figures and appendices but including words in figure captions) is 2,500. You must state clearly the word count at the start of the report. Appendices may be included for your own purposes (e.g. revision) but will not be read by the assessor.
In your report you will need to provide figures that describe various equipment configurations you have used in the experiments. If you have access to a camera (e.g. incorporated into your mobile phone) then taking a picture of the equipment for pasting it into your report is a particularly effective and efficient way of recoding this information. If you do not have access to a camera then line diagrams are an entirely acceptable alternative.
You have been given four items made of different materials: PVC, copper, aluminium and steel. You have also been given some powerful, neodymium magnets. One of the small magnets is attached to a threaded stud.
2.1 Magnetic materials and magnetic shielding
Determine which of the four materials is magnetic and describe how you made this determination. Determine whether a non-magnetic conductor can be used to ‘block’ or ‘shield’ a magnetic field and describe how you made this determination.
2.2 Faraday’s law and Lenz’s law
Take the copper pipe and hold it vertically. Drop a magnet down it. Does it fall as you would expect? Record your observations. Explain how, and why, the motion of the falling magnet is modified by the copper pipe. (You may not be able to explain why the motion of the magnet is modified until you have completed the electromagnetics part of the module.)
2.3 Homopolar motor
Using only an AA battery, a piece of conducting wire and the small magnets construct a motor. [Hint: use the wire to make a simple rotor that can balance and rotate freely on one end of the battery and use the magnet(s) to provide a suitable magnetic field. Record (using the camera on your mobile phone or a sketch) the structure of your motor. In your report explain how the motor works including the direction of rotor rotation. (Note: You may need to wait until you have covered the theory for this in the lectures before you can explain the motor principles fully. To explain the direction of rotation you will need to establish the polarity of the magnet. You can do this by hanging the magnet by a thread and observing its orientation in the Earth’s magnetic field.)
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