Video: Watch this demo

Instructor’s video

Description: This demonstration shows the behavior and component pieces of a basic electromagnet.


  • DC power supply
  • 500 Turn solenoid
  • 2 iron cores
  • 2 Banana plug cables

Setup Procedure:

  1. Connect the coil of wire to the power supply.
  2. Test to make sure everything is working.

Demonstration Procedure:

  1. Show that when the power is off, the two inductors are not attracted to each other.
  2. Insert one iron inductor into the solenoid
  3. Turn on the power supply. Don’t exceed the max current stated on the solenoid.
  4. Bring the inductor near the one in the solenoid, and note that they attract each other.
  5. Explain that this is how a basic electromagnet works.
  6. When finished, turn off the power supply. You can show them that the two inductors no longer attract each other.