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Physics-Chemistry lab science Solenoid experiment

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The Effect of the Diameter of a Coil on the Voltage Produced in Solenoid

January 2017

Student Name: Akruthi Chandersekar
Teacher Name: Mr. James Linzel
School: Shanghai American School
Date of submission: January 23rd, 2017

Word count: 1079
Pages 1+5

Introduction
Electromagnetic induction is the process by which a current can be induced to flow due to a changing magnetic field. Magnetic field strength is a way in which the intensity (strength) of the magnet is expressed. The magnetic field can be visualized in the form of magnetic field lines and the magnetic flux is the measurement of the total magnetic field which passes through a given area. The strength of a magnet can be determined by the number of field lines around the magnet, especially near the poles. The more field lines near the magnet, the stronger the magnet. 
The push or pull of magnets and electric attractions occur over a distance and this is explained by a field model. Electric charges interact using electric charges and magnetic poles interact using magnetic fields.
A change in magnetic field strength causes current in a coil of wire. Current is a change in magnetic field through a coil of wire which must induce the voltage provided by a battery (or any source providing voltage) in the coil which in turn causes current to flow.
As the strength of the field changes, the magnetic field pushes and pulls on the magnetic field of each individual electron. The electrons move away from their atoms/protons. A separation of charge occurs with more electrons in one zone and less in another. This is called polarity. The movement of the electrons and removal of the field causes the electrons to move back according to the Coulomb’s law.
Coulumb’s law is the force of attraction or repulsion acting along a straight line between two electric charges is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely to the square of the distance between them.
The Coulumb’s law looks at the forces created between two charged objects. As the distance increases, the forces and electric fields decrease. The force between the objects can be positive or negative depending on whether the objects are attracted to each other or repelled.

Hypothesis
The smaller the diameter of the coil, the higher the voltage because the closer the electrons are, the stronger the magnetic field strength.

Variables

Table 1. Variables in the experiment.

Independent variable

Diameter of the coil

The diameter of the coil was measured in centi meters and it was changed to analyze the variation in voltage.

Dependent variable 

Volts measured by the multimeter

The voltage varied depending on the diameter of the coil.

Controlled variables:

Strength of the magnet

The same magnet was used for collecting the data through out the process.

Temperature of the environment

The data was recorded in the same environment within 1 hour, therefore the temperature was same throughout.

Use of different multimeters

I used 2 different multimeters, but solely recored my data using only the first one.

Use of forceps

Forceps were used to push and pull the magnet in and out of the coil.

The speed in which the magnet was pushed in and pulled out

As the movement of the magnet was done with human hand and there was no special instrument to do that, the speed was tried to be kept consistent.

The materials I used to build my solenoid were magnet wire, a magnet, multimeter, 2 circuit wires, sandpaper, and forceps. First I sanded both the ends of the magnet wire using sandpaper to remove the plastic coating from the magnet wire. Then I wrapped the magnet wire which was about 80 cm in length around a cylindrical object in order to make a coil. I used different cylindrical objects to achieve different diameters for the wire. I took 2 circuit wires which were red and black and plugged them into the “…” and “…” ports of the multimeter. Then I used forceps to grip the magnet and push and pull it in and out of the coil. The volts recorded by the multimeter was different when I reversed the polarity and when I pushed the magnet in and when I pulled it out of the coil.

Data:
 
Fig. 1. The relationship between the diameter of the coil and the average number of volts.

Analysis
The average volts (DV) was 0.28V when the diameter of the coil (IV) was 1.5 cm. The volts went down to 0.26V as the diameter of the coil was increased to 3.5 cm. The volts measured went further down to 0.22V when the diameter was increased to 4 cm but the volts went up to 0.24V when the diameter was changed to 6 cm. When the diameter of the coil was 6.5 cm, the volts increased to 0.26V. This shows that the hypothesis predicted was not completely correct because of the unstable fluctuation of data. However, it can be correct to an extent because the slope in the trendline shows a decrease in volts with the increase in diameter. Also, the change in diameters did not have a wide range of variety, they had been changed very closely and the volts measured decreased as a whole. We can say that because the average volts when the diameters were 6 cm and 6.5 cm were 0.28V and 0.26V, and the average volts was 0.28V when the diameter was 1.5 cm.      

The relationship between the IV and DV can be interpreted because the closer the electrons are in the wire, the stronger the attraction, which in turn cause a separation of charge that occurs with more electrons in one zone and less in another. The movement of the electrons and removal of the field causes the electrons to move back according to the Coulomb’s law. The force accelerates the electrons causing current and increasing the voltage.

After graphing my data, I noticed that my errors were extremely high and my R^2 value was 0.18 which is not a good value because the closer the R^2 value is to 1, the more accurate and precise your data is.

Also, the slope of the trend line went down, therefore we can derive that the voltage decreased as the diameter of the coil increased.

Conclusion

The hypothesis I predicted was: the smaller the diameter of the coil, the higher the voltage because, the closer the electrons are, the stronger the magnetic field strength.
I accept my hypothesis because looking at the data in table alone, the change in voltage compared to the diameter of the coil did not change variedly, but according to the trend line in the graph, the slope gradually decreases which shows the decrease in voltage with the increase in diameter of the coil.
Evaluation 
The data was graphed online, therefore the trend line, R^2 value, and the error bars were shown accurately to analyze data. The voltage was measured in alternating current which made it more safe, reliable and accurate. 
The speed in which the magnet was pulled in and out of the coil was very inconsistent as the speed was not measured, it was done with the human hand. Forceps were used to push or pull the magnet and the magnetic field would have been affected because of the metal used to make the forceps.
The environment in which the data was collected was not the most appropriate place to collect data. There were various other factors that also affected the results. The temperature of the room and the magnetic field produced by other human beings or objects around the room also affected the data collection process and the results.

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