Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

The Magnetic Field in a Slinky

Figure from experiment 26 from Physics with Vernier


A solenoid is made by taking a tube and wrapping it with many turns of wire. A metal Slinky® is the same shape and will serve as a solenoid. When a current passes through the wire, a magnetic field is present inside the solenoid. Solenoids are used in electronic circuits or as electromagnets.

In this lab you will explore factors that affect the magnetic field inside the solenoid and study how the field varies in different parts of the solenoid. By inserting a Magnetic Field Sensor between the coils of the Slinky, you can measure the magnetic field inside the coil. You will also measure µ0, the permeability constant. The permeability constant is a fundamental constant of physics.


  • Determine the relationship between magnetic field and the current in a solenoid.
  • Determine the relationship between magnetic field and the number of turns per meter in a solenoid.
  • Study how the field varies inside and outside a solenoid.
  • Determine the value of µ0, the permeability constant.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physics with Vernier »

Experiment 26 from Physics with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physics with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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