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Friday, November 11, 2011

Build a compass

There's is a huge magnet inside the planet Earth, this magnet has 2 ends... the Poles. Each one of them point to one different direction, the North Pole and the South Pole.

A compass is an object with a magnetic needle that is attracted to the Earth magnetic North.

We can find these instruments in all kind of places, from a big ship to a traveler pocket. Although the different sizes, uses and owners, all the compasses are the same: a magnetized needle rotating freely in a fixed point.

Today we are going to build a compass, homemade style.

What we need:
  • wine cork,
  • metal needle,
  • bowl of water, or plate,
  • tape,
  • magnet.
How to:
  1. First of all cut a slice of the wine cork, with about1/4in thick;
  2. Rub the needle in circular movements on the magnet; you will need to do 40 to 50 turns;
  3. Stick the needle to the cork slice with the tape;
  4. Drop the cork in the bowl with water, as figure shows; the needle can't touch the water,
  5. After a few seconds the cork will move to point magnetic pole.
NOTE: keep the compass away from wind, vibration, tools, metals and magnets.

Et Voilá!
Try to do 4 or 5 compasses; do they always point same direction?


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