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AP/Calculus-Based Physics: 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.

Content Support For Teachers:

People not familiar with magnetism often view it as a somewhat mysterious property of specially treated metals.

  What Materials are Magnetic? (1)

Lesson Plans:

  The Earth as a Magnet (1)

  Magnetic Fields (1)


This series of inquiry-based activities is designed for the beginning high school physics lab.  Students explore the effect of an external field on a current-carrying wire in that field.  Students need only very basic prior experience with concepts related to magnetism.  Student study guides are included.