Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Magnets and Declination
We tried to recreate Norman's experiment from Hazen's description using a needle and a straightened paper clip as the magnetic pointers, and real and artificial cork and pieces of a Styrofoam cup as the floatation device.We did get the needle to point on a north-south axis. But it was hard to tell if the needle dipped, because the angle would change depending on where the cork was.
There's another description of Norman's experiment at Practical Physics. And Safe and Simple Electrical Experiments (viewable through Google Books) gives some alternate ways of observing the declination of the needle. You can find the magnetic declination for your position at NOAA's Geophysical Data Center.