How to Make a Magnetic Field

By Danny Donahue; Updated April 24, 2017
You can harness the power of electricity to make a magnet.

The entire universe is filled with the push and pull of magnetic fields. They surround every planet, star, and galaxy. The magnetic field surrounding Earth helps to protect us from the sun's violent rays and helps to create the auroras that light up the polar regions. Now you will be able to harness that power in your own little corner of the universe by creating your own magnetic field and you can learn a little about how this massive power acts on a small scale.

How to Create a Magnetic Field

Wrap the wire slowly and firmly around the iron bar. This is a lot of wire and it will take some time. Wrap the wire tightly and be sure to wrap the wire only in one direction. The direction of the wrap dictates the direction of the magnetic flow. Leave about 2 feet of wire unwrapped at each end.

Strip about 3 inches of insulation off of each end of your wire. Twist the stripped ends into loops that will fit snugly onto the battery posts.

Slide the wire loops onto you battery posts. Always hook up the negative post first. Now test out your field by dropping some nails near the bar and watch your magnetic field in action.

Tip

Be sure to place your battery on a piece of cardboard or wood instead of concrete. Concrete can cause the battery to discharge.

About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.