# Wikijunior:Big Book of Fun Science Experiments/How to Make an Electromagnet

If you get some copper wire and coil it up, and connect its ends to a small battery, you can make a weak electromagnet! To make an even stronger electromagnet, coil your copper wire around a large iron nail. The nail is induced to become a magnet (magnetic induction), and makes the whole thing stronger.

### Materials

1. long nail (or screwdriver, that is mostly a nail with a specific tip and a handle). Iron works best, but steel will work also.
2. Roughly 1 meter (about 3 feet) of thin copper wire.
3. A 6-volt or 9-volt battery.
4. Any kind of steel material except galvanized.

### Steps

1. Wrap the wire around the screwdriver leaving a length on each end for connecting to the battery.
2. Hook the wire to the battery by looping the ends of the length to each battery post.
3. Tip: use a cloth to hold the battery as it will get hot after a few minutes.
4. Holding the battery, bring the copper coiled nail close to the metal and observe how the screwdriver now acts as a magnet to attract the paper clip.
5. To be safe and to save your battery, promptly disconnect the wire from the battery when you've finished the demonstration.

### Physics

The atoms inside of magnets all line up the same way. In things that are not magnets, the atoms donâ€™t line up. When the copper wire is coiled around an iron nail and attached to a battery, the atoms in the nail start to line up, too. Now the nail is also a magnet! As soon as you disconnect the battery, the nail and wire stop being a magnet. The electricity from the battery creates a magnetic field around the coiled wire and nail that acts just like a bar magnet.