# Magnetic Field Due To Current In Wire Lab

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Physics
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Northern Virginia Community College
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Magnetic Field Due to Current in Wire Lab Virtual
http://www.thephyicsaviary.com/Physics/Programs/Labs/FieldFromWire/index.html
Background:
Hans Ørsted accidentally discovered the fact that electric currents create magnetic fields when he
was working with an electric circuit and noticed that, when current was flowing in the circuit, the
need of a compass on his desk would deflect. Thus began the investigation of the nature of
magnetic fields produced by currents.
Instructions:
Open the web page listed at the top of this lab. Click “Begin”. When you do, you will see a
screen that has a long gray wire with small blue circles moving to the right (representing the flow
of charge). There are many concentric circles around the wire, representing the magnetic field
produced by the wire. A small black bar sticking out from the top left represents a magnetic field
sensor. The “+” sign at the right side of the black bar is the point on the sensor where it takes
data.
Experiment 1: Dependence of Horizontal Position
2. Click “Location of Field Sensor”. Doing so opens a tab that has four arrows: up, down,
left, and right. Clicking these arrows allows you to move the sensor around.
3. Click “Field Strength” in the top right of the panel. This gives the strength of the
magnetic field in microTesla (μT).
a. Make sure you measure the field strength in Tesla, not microTesla. So if the
measured strength is “5.1μT”, your measured value should be “0.0000051T”.
b. Brief note on magnetic field strength values that fluctuate: in real life, when
measuring values with something like a magnetic field strength sensor, the
measured value may fluctuate. For our purposes here, look at the digit to the right
of the decimal point and round to the average value of that digit. For example, if
you see values such as 12.41 μT, then 12.32 μT, then 12.53 μT, round to 12.4 μT,
then convert to Tesla.
4. Move the field sensor all the way to the left and leave its vertical position unchanged.
a. Column 1 is “Horizontal Position”
b. Column 2 is “Field strength”

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6. Set the initial position of the horizontal position to be 0.005m and take the measured
field strength at the position.
7. Move the field sensor to the right (you may assume each step is 0.005m) and not the
field strength for each position. You should make 17 steps for a total of 18 different
horizontal positions. Each of these positions will have a measured field strength.
8. Graph your data of Field strength vs. horizontal position, making sure you create a
complete graph (axis labes, axis units, title, etc.). What do you notice about the trend in
your graph? What does this imply about the dependence of field strength on horizontal
position near a long wire carrying current?
According to the graph trend it can be seen the field strength remained constant with the
horizontal distance changing.
Therefore, the field strength on horizontal position near a long wire carrying current is a
constant. It doesn’t change with the horizontal distance.
Experiment 2: Dependence on radial position
1. Move the sensor to the farthest right position, then down as close as possible to the wire.
You may assume that this position is 0.01m from the wire.
a. Column 1 is “Radial Distance”
b. Column 2 is “Field Strength”
3. Note the position and field strength for this initial position in your spreadsheet.
4. Move the sensor one space up away from the wire (you may assume that the step size is
0.005m). Note the field strength. You should be able to measure the strength of 15 total
positions, including the initial position.
1.03E-05
1.032E-05
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1
Field strength (T)
Horizontal position (m)
Field strength vs horizontal position

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Magnetic Field Due to Current in Wire Lab – Virtual http://www.thephyicsaviary.com/Physics/Programs/Labs/FieldFromWire/index.html Background: Hans Ørsted accidentally discovered the fact that electric currents create magnetic fields when he was working with an electric circuit and noticed that, when current was flowing in the circuit, the need of a compass on his desk would deflect. Thus began the investigation of the nature of magnetic fields produced by currents. Instructions: Open the web page listed at the top of this lab. Click “Begin”. When you do, you will see a screen that has a long gray wire with small blue circles moving to the right (representing the flow of charge). There are many concentric circles around the wire, representing the magnetic field produced by the wire. A small black bar sticking out from the top left represents a magnetic field sensor. The “+” sign at the right side of the black bar is the point on the sensor where it takes data. Experiment 1: Dependence of Horizontal Position 1. Open excel or your favorite spreadsheet program (Google sheets, whatever). 2. Click “Location of Field Sensor”. Doing so opens a tab that has four arrows: up, down, left, and right. Clicking these arrows allows you to move the sensor around. 3. Click “Field Strength” in the top right of the panel. This gives the strength of the magnetic field in microTesla (μT). a. Make sure you measure the field strength in Tesla, not microTesla. So if the measure ...
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