You don’t know what stuff is, you who hold it in you hands. Atoms? Yes, stuff is made of atoms. And every atom is a nucleus orbited by electrons. Every nucleus is built of protons. Every proton is – but there you reach the end of the line. Inside the proton lies deep, unsettling truth: Stuff is made of nothing, or almost nothing, held together by glue, lots of glue.
What I knew?
When I first heard about electromagnetism, I knew that it has something to do with the universe. Furthermore, all I had in my head was that electromagnetism is just a simple phenomenon where some magnetic force was attracting or repelling something together and I wasn’t even sure if that was about electromagnetism. Also, I was filled with curiosity and anxiety because of how little I know about this and the feeling of not being able to grasp all the information that we will be given.
And besides, we formed new groupings and unfortunately, all of us don’t have enough knowledge regarding electromagnetism. Yes, we all had prior knowledge of it but I knew from their reactions that we did not learn it by heart and had forgotten all about the basic concepts. Despite all those negative thoughts that were running through my head.
What I learned?
After all of the activities that we had performed and also with some discussions, my initial thoughts came crashing in to form a sort of a puzzle and everything started to make sense.
In simple words, it is a force that can attract (unlike poles) or repel (like poles) objects that have a magnetic material inside them such as iron. Amaterial having this property is called a magnet.
- Magnetic Poles
The poles of a magnetic are usually its two ends. When a magnet is suspended freely so that it can rotate in a horizontal plane, it will settle its poles pointing to either the North or South direction. The pole that points towards the North is the North-seeking pole and vice versa.
- Magnetic Field and Magnetic Flux
Surrounding a magnet is a magnetic field; it is a region of space where a magnet is capable of exerting a force on a magnetic material. While magnetic flux shows the quantity or strength of magnetic lines produced by the magnet. Hans Christian Oersted discovered that a current carrying wire produces a magnetic field.
- Right Hand Rule
The direction of the magnetic field produced by a current may be determined using the following rules:
Right Hand Rule 1
For a straight wire, grasp the wire with the right hand in such a way that the thumb points to the direction of the current while the fingers curl in the direction of the magnetic field.
Right Hand Rule 2
In case of loop of wire and a solenoid. The fingers of the right hand are curled in the direction of the current and the thumb points to the North pole of the field or the magnetic field.
- Electromagnetic Induction
The reverse of what Oersted had said. The process by which a changing magnetic flux which is related to magnetic field produces electric current. The current and emf produced are called induced current and induced emf, respectively.
Faraday’s law and Lenz’s law describes the electromagnetic induction. Faraday’s law states that whenever there is a change in the magnetic flux in a circuit, an induced current and induced emf is produced. On the other hand, Lenz’s law states that the induced current flows in a direction so as to oppose the change causing it, which is the change in magnetic flux, that is why the formula has a negative (-) sign in it to indicate the direction.
Combining Faraday’s law and Lenz’s law, we have the formula which shows the relationship of all the variables included:
How I learned?
There were many ways on how our teacher taught us about electromagnetism. From classroom discussions, where we learned about the basic concepts such as those that I have mentioned above to performing an experiment (Faraday’s and Lenz’s law). But first, before actually tackling more about the topic, we just stared at the materials for quite some time not knowing what to do which for me, is good.
Not only it awakened my curiosity of it but it is like trying to remake what the founders of the concepts did because being able to perform and prove a concept without that much knowledge is a big accomplishment and surely will boost someone’s confidence and self-esteem. And so, were given the following materials: copper wire, bar magnet, alligator clip, and galvanometer and made a couple of set ups for the experiment.
But before the activities, each group was assigned to a variable to focus on. After a lot of experimentation, researching and headaches, the next thing we did was to share our findings to the other groups. And I believe that this is an effective way to see if a student was able to understand their findings and the findings of the other groups and if he/she is able to share it to his/her group mates clearly without fail.
The whole process itself may be very complex and a lot of work but in this way, students will try and learn the topic with minimal guidance from their teacher which is again, a huge responsibility but has a great reward; the feeling of satisfaction and being proud of your achievement.
Dilemmas. I have been in many situations like these before and I can safely say that there’s always a way of solving a problem no matter how big or small it may be and that there is more than one way of solving a problem. Yes, I wasn’t able to perform the way they did, however, I have my friends and my teachers whom I could ask for guidance; and that is my one way of solving a problem.
There are different individuals that surrounding me and each of them have different strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, I had this question were it’s about the poles of a magnet and it goes like this that “why do the N and S poles attract?” Because they are different with each other. The same goes for me, if I’m having a difficult time on something, I ask someone who has the capability of answering my inquiries. In this way, not only we will experience a force of attraction but will strengthen the bond between us and will result to happy me and him/her being contented.