Electrical Principles 2 (Session 2019-20) Assignment – Electromagnetics

In the following exercises you will be using some powerful magnets. Please note, and act on,
the following precautions:

• IF YOU HAVE ANY METALIC IMPLANTS THAT MAY BE MAGNETIC (I.E. IMPLANTS
WHICH MAY CONTAIN IRON, NICKLE, COBALT, GADOLINIUM, NEODYMIUM OR
SAMARIUM) THEN MAKE THIS KNOWN TO THE TUTOR AND DO NOT TAKE PART IN
THIS ASSIGNMENT BEFORE A RISK ASSESSMENT HAS BEEN UNDERTAKEN
• IF YOU HAVE A HEART PACEMAKER THEN MAKE THIS KNOWN TO THE TUTOR AND
DO NOT TAKE PART IN THIS ASSIGNMENT BEFORE A RISK ASSESSMENT HAS
BEEN UNDERTAKEN
• SWALLOWING A MAGNET IS DANGEROUS. THEY MAY CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING
DAMAGE TO THE STOMACH AND/OR INTESTINES DUE TO FORCES ON THE
MAGNETS FROM NEARBY MAGNETIC MATERIALS. NEVER PUT ANY MAGNET IN
YOUR MOUTH. SWALLOWING TWO MAGNETS IS ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS.
• NEODYMIUM MAGNETS (SUCH AS THE ONES USED IN THESE EXERCISES) ARE
POWERFUL. HANDLE THEM CAREFULLY AND BE AWARE OF NEARBY FERROUS
OBJECTS AND OTHER MAGNETS. THE MAGNET COULD CAUSE BLOOD BLISTERS
AND OTHER INJURIES IF SKIN AND/OR OTHER TISUE IS TRAPPED BETWEEN TWO
MAGNETS OR A MAGNET AND A MAGNETIC MATERIAL.)

1. Introduction
This (assessed) assignment forms one component of NIE2299, which aims to deepen your
conceptual understanding of magnetostatic forces and fields. There are two 3-hour
timetabled periods for you to undertake the 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.

2. Practical work
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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