Connect the sensor following the steps in the Getting Started section of this user manual.
Go Direct 3-Axis Magnetic Field has 6 measurement channels. The channel names are
- X magnetic field
- Y magnetic field
- Z magnetic field
- X magnetic field 130mT
- Y magnetic field 130mT
- Z magnetic field 130mT
The default channel that is active when connected is the X magnetic field channel, which has a maximum range of ±5 mT. This range works well for the experiments we have published in our lab manuals.
There are two additional channels that use the ±5 mT range, Y magnetic field and Z magnetic field. The y- and z-directions are indicated by the dots impressed in the plastic near the end of the wand. These marks also indicate the location of the actual sensor chip within the wand.
When using any of the ±5 mT channels, if the sensor is exposed to a magnetic field greater than ±5 mT on any axis, the software will display a reading of 5 mT. To measure the field strength of stronger magnetic fields, use the 130 mT channels. The 130 mT channels are measured by a second sensor chip inside the wand, located 5.5 mm toward the handle from the dots in the end of the wand.
Measuring the X-direction Magnetic Field
Magnetic fields that point in the same direction the wand is pointing are recorded as positive, and fields that point in the opposite direction are recorded as negative. Thus, the magnetic field of the Earth will register as a positive field when the wand is pointed toward the magnetic pole in the Earth’s northern hemisphere, which is a South magnetic pole. When the wand is aligned with a permanent magnet and pointed toward the South pole of a magnet it will also record a positive field.
The x-direction measurement is positive when the wand points toward the South pole of a magnet.
Measuring y- and/or z-directions
The marks on the sides of the wand, at the tip, indicate the y- and z-directions of positive magnetic field measurements, as well as marking the location within the housing where the ±5 mT magnetic field sensor is located. This is important for consistent placing of the sensor and accurately measuring the distance between the sensor and the source of a magnetic field.
In this orientation, the z-direction measurement will be positive.
This sensor measures just the vector component of the field along each direction. To determine the total magnetic field strength at a location, you could measure only in the x-direction (the default setting in Graphical Analysis) and point the wand exactly in the direction of the magnetic field in the location you are measuring. Another option is to create a calculated column in software. The magnitude of the field is calculated as the square root of the sum of the squares of the measurements along all three axes. Using this method may be useful with students who have been introduced to vectors in three dimensions.