# Explain How Electromagnets Work

In this worksheet, students will look at how electromagnets are used in different situations.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Physics: Electricity and Electromagnetism

Curriculum subtopic:   Magnetism

Difficulty level:

#### Worksheet Overview

Electromagnets are made using a coil of wire around an iron core (it can be an iron nail) and letting electricity flow through the wire. Here is a diagram of an electromagnet:

The concept is that the magnetic field around the wire (created by electric current flowing through it) can be strengthened by winding the wire into a coil and twisting it around an iron core.

Have a look at the Maglev train in the picture below:

Electromagnets are used in Maglev trains. These trains can travel at very high speeds - up to 375 miles per hour!

A computer system controls the current so that the train floats 15 cm above the track. The Maglev train is continually pulled forward because the electromagnets on the tracks are turned on when they are just in front of the train, so they attract the train. As the train moves, the next set of electromagnets on the tracks is turned on and pulls the train in turn.

Electric bells also contain an electromagnet. They are used in most schools.

When the current flows through, the electromagnet attracts the hammer. The hammer hits the gong and the bell makes a sound. The current is turned off and the hammer returns to its initial position.

Now that you have seen some uses of electromagnets, let's try some questions!

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