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Magnetizing A Steel Bolt




So... I did this today.


The reason a coil of wire can create a magnet out of a piece of ferrous material, such as this steel bolt in my picture, is because of a very interesting affect of elctro-magnetic fields. When electricity flows through a wire it generates a magnetic field that travels in a circle along the diameter of the wire. When such a wire is twisted into a helix shaped coil, the fields overlap. Now a meta-field travels in one direction along the inner part of the coil and travels around the edge in the opposite direction on the outer side of

the coil.

Thus, the field which travels through anything else in its path draws the alignment of the spin state of the electrons within atoms parallel with the path of the magnetic current. This amplifies the

dipole attribute of the ferrous molecules, since, in effect, developing a strong attraction to the opposite charge (by the combined alignment of the electrons,) the material becomes a magnet itself. Even with the electrical force removed, the electrons remain in their "combed" state until changed by a stronger field or heated.

That is a simplified model, the particulars behind why some materials, like iron, or nickel, develop and retain strong magnetic forces is of course a bit more complex, involving crystaline lattices and the atomic energy exchange model, but none-the-less a fascinating look at a small part under the quantum theory umbrella.



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If i might make a suggestion... for your next, try a stirling engine. To start off you can try one with a coke can or two, a bit of steel-wool, some fishing line or even string, a paper clip. . Using slightly better material you can actually make one that will let you tap its motive power for things like pumping water or generating a bit of power or simply for making a table fan.

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