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curator:Tim Erickson
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 Magnet Force 1

This is original data taken by a group of physics students at Mills High School in Millbrae, CA.

The setup is shown in the diagram at right. We're looking at the repulsive force between two magnets as a function of the distance between them. To get the force, one of the disk magnets is glued to a digital scale, and the other is gradually lowered from above. As the magnets get closer together, the repulsive force pushes down on the scale.

We have dist_cm, the distance in centimeters, and force_gf, the force in grams of force, that is, the number the scale reads.

How does the force depend on distance?
Explain that theoretically, if you can--or make a numerical model.
What effect does gravity have on this experiment? Does it matter that it's set up vertically? If there is a problem, what can we do to correct it?

dist_cm
force_gf
7.5
0.40
8
0.36
8.5
0.34
9
0.25
9.5
0.21
10
0.18
10.5
0.12
11
0.10
11.5
0.09
12
0.08
12.5
0.07
13
0.06
13.5
0.05

<text form of the data>

 ©2002 eeps media 866.341.3377 or Last updated February 14, 2007 supported by NSF award DMI-0216656