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Physics First: Magnetism and Magnetic Force Units

Magnetic fields can be defined as the regions surrounding a magnet where a moving electric charge will feel a force of attraction or repulsion. Invisible magnetic field lines emerge from the North pole of a magnet and enter the South pole. Field lines can be visualized by sprinkling small iron filings over a magnet covered by a clear sheet of plastic. When a compass (or any freely floating bar magnet) points north, it is actually aligning its north pole to the Earth's magnetic south pole.

  What is Magnetism? (2)

References and Collections:

This collection of 41 interactive java tutorials would be an excellent choice to connect physics to "real-world" applications.  Designed by well-respected authors, the topics range from simulated magnetic fields and field lines to primers on capacitance, resistance, Ohm's Law, and electromagnetic induction.  Included are simulations on how things work, such as vacuum tube diodes, cathode rays,  capacitors, AC/DC generators, hard drives, pulsed magnets, and speakers.

Student Tutorials:

This resource is a student tutorial on magnetism appropriate for middle school or 9th grade Physical Science.  It is organized into sequenced headings that each contain interactive simulations and reflective questions.  The first half of the tutorial gives students a conceptual framework to understand properties of magnets and magnetic behavior.  The topics then broaden to include magnetic lines of force, magnetic field, electromagnets, electric motors, and galvanometers.

  What Materials are Magnetic? (1)

Lesson Plans:

  The Earth as a Magnet (1)

  Magnetic Fields (1)

Lesson Plans:

This lesson contains instructions for conducting an inquiry-based lab to investigate current-carrying coils in magnetic fields.