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EB How to work with Magnetism and Electromagnetism

How much do you know about magnetism and electromagnetism? Did you know that some scientists believe humans are magnetoreceptive. In other words, they have the ability to detect the Earth’s magnetic field. Experiments carried out showed that the participants’ brains reacted when the magnetic field was changed unexpectedly.

Humans are not the only animals scientists believe to be magnetoreceptive. Lobsters will migrate in single-file lines of up to 50 organisms. Experiments on them concluded that the direction they walk in is partly based on the Earth’s magnetic field.  Clumps of proteins have been discovered in the genome of the fruit fly which scientists believe work as a magnetic sensor. Mole rats live in underground tunnels, and have very poor eyesight. They do use smell to help them navigate, but scientists have also discovered they use the Earth’s magnetic field to guide them during longer journeys.

Migratory birds also rely on the magnetic field for navigation. This appears to be due to the presence of magnetite in their beaks. A chiton ( a type of mollusc) has magnetite in its teeth, which cover its tongue. This helps the chiton scrape algae in order to feed, but also helps them navigate to places  to mate and feed!

GCSE scientists – you need to be able to describe how magnets and electromagnets work. For help, try our new guide “How to work with Magnetism and Electromagnetism”. It includes information about magnetic fields and the uses of permanent and induced magnets. There is also an explanation of how electromagnets work, and the motor effect. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.

Click on the picture below to see the guide.

Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects.  New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

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