Science experiments at Tulsa’s Discovery Lab offer a unique way to learn
There’s always something new to learn at Discovery Labs in Tulsa. This month’s experiment shows how electricity and magnets work together.
Chip Lindsey, Director of Education at Discovery Labs, said:
For example, putting your smartphone on a wireless charger or driving an electric car creates a magnetic connection.
“Because of the harnessing of that electrical energy, and because of its electromagnetic properties, it can propel a car along the road,” says Lindsey.
Magnets sometimes attract and sometimes repel. Education director Chip Lindsay says magnets only interact with those containing the elements iron, nickel, or cobalt. In one experiment, a magnet was placed under a plastic tray and iron powder was sprinkled over it. When the magnet is moved, it is followed by iron powder that shows the lines of force from the magnet.
To create the electromagnetic field, Lindsey cut out 235 coat hangers and tied them together. Then I connect it to the wire with the button on the floor and plug it into the outlet. This created an alternating current. This aluminum ring is not a magnet, but it pops out when you step on the button. Cooling the ring with liquid nitrogen amplifies the electrical force and hits the ceiling.
“It pervades every part of our lives. But it wasn’t even known that there was a relationship between magnetism and electric currents until about 200 years ago.