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Alex Bicksler (Burtonlang)
New member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 3-2009
 Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 2:05 pm:

For a Physics project, I am supposed to create an electromagnetic device (like a generator, a motor, a Magnetohydrodynamic boat, etc.) I was thinking about building a Gauss rifle, but was wondering if I could replace the individual magnets with electromagnets. I have a bunch of 1/2" by 2" bolts, and I have access to a bunch of magnet wire. I coiled wire around one of the bolts until it was about an inch in diameter, and hooked it up to a 9v battery. It's magnetic, and can hold about three 1/2" steel balls. What should I do to make the electromagnets stronger, and how should I align them to make an ideal gauss rifle?

Theresa Simmons (Theresa)
Senior Member

Post Number: 106
Registered: 1-2008
 Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 8:30 pm:

You'll want the electromagnets to have the same mass as the balls.
To make them stronger, do two things:
1. Add more turns of wire.
2. Raise the voltage so more current goes through the wire.

The strength of an electromagnet is measured in ampere-turns.
You can increase it by adding turns, or increasing the amps.

Putting several 9 volt batteries in series is fairly easy to do.
When the electromagnet gets so hot you start to smell insulation
burning, you will either need to back off the voltage, or cool the
electromagnet somehow (water cooling comes to mind).

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