Magnetism from Electricity

The Simple Experiment you can do-- Bring a compass near a wire conduction electricity. Hold the compass just above or below the wire and see what happens. When current is flowing the compass moves demonstrating a magnetic field.

current through a wire moves a compass

Turn off the electricity and see what happens to the compass direction.

compass does not move with no current through wire

This was the basis of Hans Cristian Oersted the Danish physicist's experiment that demonstrated the relationship between magnetism and electricity.

Oersted then realized that a coil of wire carryng a current would produce a magnetic field with the poles at the end.

A solenoid is a long coil of wire with many loops. The magnetic field of a solenoid can be greatly increased by increasing the number of coils of wirwe or the amount of current flowing through the coils. An even greater increase in the magnetic field occurs if the coil is wrapped around a piece of iron.