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ERIC Number: EJ892034
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Simple Experiments to Help Students Understand Magnetic Phenomena
Browne, Kerry; Jackson, David P.
Physics Teacher, v45 n7 p425-429 Oct 2007
The principles of magnetism are a common topic in most introductory physics courses, yet curricular materials exploring the behavior of permanent magnets and magnetic materials are surprisingly rare in the literature. We reviewed the literature to see how magnetism is typically covered in introductory textbooks and curricula. We found that while most texts contain a relatively complete description of magnetism and its relation to current-carrying wires, few devote much space to the development of a model that explains the magnetic phenomena students are most familiar with, e.g., the interaction between permanent magnets and ferromagnetic materials. We also found that while there are a wide variety of published articles exploring the various principles of magnetic induction, only a few of these explore the basic interactions between common magnets, ferromagnetic materials, and current-carrying wires. The activities described in this paper were designed to provide a structured series of simple experiments to help students develop a model of magnetism capable of explaining these phenomena.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A