To study the field lines formed around a bar magnet

As performed in the lab

Materials :

White paper sheet, drawing board, adhesive, bar magnet, iron filings and magnetic compass.

Procedure :

  1. Fix a sheet of white paper on a drawing board using some adhesive material.
  2. Place a bar magnet in the centre of it.
  3. Sprinkle some iron filings uniformly around the bar magnet.
  4. Now tap the board gently.
  5. Observe the pattern in which the iron filings arrange themselves.
  6. Use a magnetic compass to determine the direction of the field lines.

As performed in the simulator

  1. Drag the bar magnet or magnetic compass around and observe the deflection in needle of compass and magnetic field (B) acting on the magnetic compass.
  2. To view the magnetic field lines, click on Show Field Lines checkbox.
  3. For more detailed insights of the activity click on Observation tab.


  1. Direction in which compass needle points is the direction of the magnetic field.
  2. The strength of the magnetic field is inversely proportional to the distance between the field lines.
  3. Magnetic field lines never cross each other. It is unique at every point in space.
  4. Magnetic field lines begin at the north pole of a magnet and terminate on the south pole.