An electromagnet is formed by wrapping a conductor around a metal such as soft iron. When an electrical current is passed through the conductor, the magnetic field set up causes the soft iron to become magnetic. When the current is switched off, the soft iron looses its magnetism.

The strength of this magnet depends on:

  • The number of turns in the windings: the more turns, the stronger the magnet.
  • The amount of current in the windings: the more current, the stronger the magnet. 

An electromagnet.

Points to note:

A relay or a solenoid is an example of an electromagnet at work.

» Course Glossary