AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Labs/Apparatus
  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Magic Eggs: Magnetism at Any Level of Sophistication
  Meeting: 2015 Winter Meeting: San Diego, California
  Location: N/A
  Time: 9:15PM
  Author: Martin G. Connors, Athabasca University
780-435-8761, martinc@athabascau.ca
  Co-Author(s): Mark Freeman, Farook Al-Shamali, Brian Martin
  Abstract: The concept of a dipole field is of basic importance in electromagnetism, but poses conceptual difficulties for students, which may in particular underlie the difficulties in teaching about magnetism. "Magic Eggs" are strongly magnetized, cm-scale spheres often sold as toys. At a low level of sophistication, they allow exploration of many aspects of magnetism, including the ideas of attraction and poles. With progressing levels of knowledge of physics, they can help illuminate concepts ranging from the nature of fields in space to the properties of magnetic materials. A uniformly magnetized sphere has the external field of an ideal dipole despite being a macroscopic object. Quantitative measurements that are easily done with inexpensive apparatus allow a link to be made between theory and measurement that is particularly instructive and satisfying.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: Magic Eggs.pdf

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