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Home > Learning Center > Science Center > Oersted's Experiment

Oersted's Experiment

In 1819, a Danish scientist named Hans Christian Oersted discovered a close relationship between electricity and magnetism with this experiment. Oersted's discovery led to the study of electromagnetism. Try Oersted's experiment yourself!






Materials You Will Need:

  • Energizer® Power Pack
  • Small, non-metallic bowl
  • Needle
  • Modeling clay
  • Cork—1/4" slice off large end of 3/4" cork
  • Horseshoe or bar magnet
  • 24" piece of number 22 insulated copper bell wire with approximately 1" of insulation stripped off both ends
  • Switch or alternate commercial knife blade switch
  • Tape

Please Read Carefully!

All experiments use safe, low-voltage battery power. Household electrical current contains high voltage that could cause serious injury. DO NOT use household electrical current for any of these experiments. ALL experiments should be conducted under adult supervision.

  • Carefully follow wiring instructions for each experiment. Improper wiring can result in battery leakage and/or rupture.
  • DO NOT take a battery apart. Contact with internal battery material can cause injury.
  • DO NOT dispose in fire, recharge, put in backwards, or mix with used or other battery types. This may cause batteries to explode, leak and cause personal injury.