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Testing Magnets

By Pasquale Stroppa

This instrument is very easily constructed. In making It the following materials are required: A pocket compass, two bar magnets, and a board.

Take a board about three feet in length by four inches in width and one-half inch thick. At the end of the board, about one Inch from the edge, bore a hole so that the compass will fit tightly therein. The compass must at least penetrate the board so that the glass disk will be a little above the hoard and the needle of the compass will he about on the level of the surface of the board.

Now begin from the compass and measure one inch spaces to about thirty in number and mark the lines beginning from the compass needle one, two, three, four, and so on.

When this has been done, place the board on a table. The compass needle will then come to rest pointing to the magnetic north and south. Turn the hoard so that the needle will be at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the board. The compass needle must be right over the north and south poles thereof, and the north point of the needle must point to 0.

The instrument is now ready for use. Take one of the magnet bars and place it on the board, so that either one of its poles points to the compass needle. Now move the bar magnet toward the compass needle until the needle shows deflection. This may be as much as ten degrees on the compass dial with a distance of twenty-five inches for the pole of the magnet under trial. Remove this magnet, and place the other magnet at the same distance. The magnetic needle may be deflected twenty degrees at the same distance of twenty-five inches. This shows that the bar magnet tested last was stronger than the first one, or ten degrees stronger, taken arbitrarily.

An electromagnet can also be tested in the same manner. This instrument can be used to test any of two bar magnets so as to determine which of them is the stronger.

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