SEP: Electricity, Magnetism and Forces
Electricity, Magnetism and Forces is one of the publication themes of the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme. For other publication themes, visit the SEP homepage.
Both electrical and magnetic phenomena have been known since ancient times, through the action of friction to produce static electricity and through the existence of naturally occurring magnetic rocks. Over the centuries, more became known and understood about these phenomena, but it was not until the 19th century and the work of Faraday, that the intimate relationship between them came to be seen. Electricity and magnetism, two separate areas of science, now became ‘electromagnetism’.
It is impossible to consider electromagnetic phenomena without considering forces and motion, but the study of forces and motion extends beyond electromagnetism and is an important area of study in its own right, and one with many practical applications.
The behaviour of simple electrical circuits is explored in QTC: A Remarkable New Material to Control Electricity. QTC (quantum tunneling composite) is a fascinating material that is creating a great deal of commercial interest because of its use in switching devices; this booklet looks at concepts of current, voltage and resistance set in this innovative context.
The new generation of rare earth magnets are far stronger than traditional magnetic materials, and they open up a range of practical activities not previously possible. Supermagnets: Exploring the Properties and Uses of Rare Earth Magnets includes work on measuring and modelling the attraction and repulsion between magnets.
Motors and Electromagnetism provides a range of different practical activities involving electromagnetic phenomena, including the motor effect, loudspeakers, electric motors and their efficiency, stepper motors, electromagnetic induction and dynamos.
Sensors are an important part of our lives – they pervade every aspect, mostly unobtrusively, measuring many different kinds of quantities to create electrical signals. The Sensors CD-ROM provides an introduction to the science behind sensors and gives examples of real applications.
Rockets and Projectiles provides an overview of forces affecting the motion of rockets and projectiles. Through the activities, students consider the effects of launch velocity, launch angle and payload as well as ‘How Science Works’ aspects such as the effects of different experimental set-ups.