Spread some iron filings collected from the sand uniformly on a sheet of white paper placed on a table. Place a bar magnet below the white sheet. Gently tap the table. What do you see? You can see the pattern as shown in the figure.
Answer: I can see the iron filings are arranged in the form of curved patterns around the magnet.
The space around the bar magnet where the arrangement of iron filings exists, represents the field of influence of the bar magnet. It is called the magnetic field.
You can observe from this experiment that the iron filings are arranged in the form of curved patterns around the magnet. The space around the bar magnet where the arrangement of iron filings exists, represents the field of influence of the bar magnet. It is called the magnetic field. Magnetic field is defined as the space around a magnet in which its magnetic effect or influence is observed. It is measured by the unit tesla or gauss (1 tesla =10,000 gauss).
Tracing the magnetic field
We can trace the magnetic field with the help of a compass needle. A white sheet of paper is fastened on the drawing board using the board pins or cello tape. A small plotting compass needle is placed near the edge of the paper and the board is rotated until the edge of the paper is parallel to the magnetic needle. The compass needle is then placed at the centre of the paper and the ends of the needle, i.e., the new positions of the north and south pole are marked when the needle comes to rest. These points are joined and a straight line is obtained. This line represents the magnetic meridian. Cardinal directions N-E-S-W are drawn near the corner of the paper.
The bar magnet is placed on the line at the centre of the paper with its north pole facing the geographic north. The outline of the bar magnet is drawn. The plotting compass is placed near the North Pole of the bar magnet and the end of the needle (north pole) is marked. Now the compass is moved to a new position, such that its south pole occupies the position previously occupied by its north pole. In this way it is proceded step by step till the compass is placed near the south pole of the magnet. Deflecting points are marked. A curved line is then drawn by joining the plotted points marked around the magnet. This represents the magnetic line of force. In the same way several magnetic lines of force are drawn around the magnet as shown in the Figure 7.4. These curved lines around the bar magnet represent the magnetic field of the magnet. The direction of the lines is shown by the arrow heads.
We can observe here that the compass needle gets deflected to a large extent, when it is closer to the magnet. When the distance is large, the deflection of the needle is gradually decreased. At one particular position there is no deflection because there is no magnetic force at this position. This shows that each magnet exhibits its magnetic influence around a specific region.
A compass needle, also known as plotting compass or magnetic needle, consists of a tiny pivoted magnet in the form of a pointer,which can rotate freely in the horizontal plane. The ends of the compass needle point approximately towards the geographic north and south direction.