What is an electromagnet?
When an electric current flows through a wire, it sets up a magnetic field around the wire. The field is stronger if you wind the wire into a coil. Just add one more item, an iron rod (or nail), and you can make an electromagnet. An electromagnet is a magnet made when an electric current flows through a coil of wire wrapped around an iron rod. When current flows, the iron rod acts like a magnet. Its two ends become north and south poles.
How are electromagnets used?
Electromagnets are often more useful than permanent magnets because:
- you can turn them on and off by switching the current on and off
- you can make them stronger by increasing the current and/or the coils of wire.
Electromagnets are used in many things people use everyday, including:
- electric guitars.