magnetic loops on Sun Magnetism and the Sun
See the Activity in Action Summary of Activity:
Students will learn the basic principles of magnetism and how they apply to the Sun. This activity is targeted towards high school students who have taken or are taking pre-calculus.

A printable version of this activity is available.


Duration of Activity:
Three (3) class sessions

Student Prerequisites:

  1. Have taken or are taking pre-calculus

    Teacher Preparation & Supplies Needed:

    1. Bar magnets & iron filings for each individual or team of students
    2. Magnet, power supply, thin and thick magnet wire, stands to hold the coil, thread, wires with alligator clips, graph paper
    3. Matched sets of bar magnets for experimentation of stored energy
    4. Rubber bands, binder clips, markers, scissors for each team of 2 students to understand the concept of reconnection

    Study Guide and Work Sheets:

Students will:
  1. Observe and sketch the magnetic fields produced by bar magnets and iron filings to understand the concept of magnetic fields.
  2. Determine the relationship between magnetic force and current by building a small electromagnet and measuring its strength under various currents.
  3. Understand the concept that magnetic fields can store energy by forcing two similar magnets together and watching them repel each other.
  4. Experiment with rubber bands, simulating magnetic fields, to see what happens when magnetic fields are distorted, broken, then reconnected.

Grade Level:
High school students who have taken or are taking pre-calculus, although it can be adapted to younger students by eliminating some of the calculations

Relationship to National Standards:


  1. Introduction
  2. Magnetic Fields
  3. Magnetic Force
  4. Stored Energy in Magnetic Fields
  5. Magnetism on the Sun
  6. Further Exploration


Links to definitions and explanations are included with the activity.

A Bibliography is included with the activity.