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Applied Physics Laboratory

Measurement of the Magnetic Field of a Disk Magnet with the help of
Hall-Effect Sensor
(LUMS Department of Physics is acknowledged for allowing its lab manual to be used in making of this lab document)

Lab Objective:
The experimental objective is to use a Hall sensor and to find the magnetic field of a disk magnet.

Faraday's Law, Magnetic Field, Magnetic Flux, Induced EMF, Magnetic Dipole Moment, Hall

Approximate Performance Time:

1 hours


Disk Magnets
Hall-Effect Sensor
Power supply

Measuring Scale (1mm resolution).

The Hall-effect sensor produces an output voltage corresponding to the magnetic field it senses. This
output voltage is known as hall voltage and is used to estimate the magnetic field.

The Magnetic Field B and Flux
The magnetic field exists when we have moving electric charges. About 150 years ago, physicists found
that, unlike the electric field, which is present even when the charge is not moving, the magnetic field is
produced only when the charge moves. This discovery allowed physicists to learn interesting ideas about
materials. In the twentieth century, scientists determined the configuration of elementary particles in
atoms and they realized that electrons inside atoms also produce tiny magnetic fields. This field is found
in all materials. The magnetic field is mapped out by magnetic field lines. Magnetic field lines are like
stretched rubber bands, closely packed near the poles .This is why the closer we get to the poles of a
magnet, the higher the magnetic field. The number of magnetic field lines passing through an area is
known as magnetic flux . Mathematically, we divide an area through which we want to find the flux
into identical area elements

perpendicular and away from the surface as shown in the Figure 1. A

scalar product between the magnetic field vector


and is,

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Applied Physics Laboratory

Subsequently, we may write

Figure 1: Magnetic Field and Magnetic Flux

Figure 2: Magnetic inducing current in a coil

Electromagnetic Induction
Extensive work was done on current carrying conductors in the nineteenth century, major ground work
was set by Faraday (1831) and following him Lenz (1834) [1]. Faraday discovered that a changing
magnetic field across a conductor generates electric field. When a charge moves around a closed circuit
this electric field does work on the charge. Like the electromotive force (EMF) of a battery this induced
EMF is capable of driving a current around the circuit. See Figure 2.
Faraday's law asserts that the EMF produced is directly proportional to the rate at which the magnetic
field lines per unit area or magnetic flux `cuts' the conducting loop. Lenz's law is incorporated into
Faraday's Law with a negative sign which shows that the EMF produced opposes the relative motion
between the conductor and magnet, it tries to resist the change in flux. Mathematically both of these
laws are expressed together as,

for a single loop of conductor, where is the electromotive force induced, is the magnetic flux,
time rate of change of magnetic flux. The rate depends on the speed at which the magnet moves
relative to the conductor loop, as well as the strength of the field. Electric power plants or more
commonly; generators, are a physical manifestation of laws
of induction. The principle is to change the magnetic flux
over large stationary coils. The `change' of flux is brought
about mechanically, either by falling water or by running a
turbine. The changing flux induces an EMF in the coils.


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Applied Physics Laboratory

Hall Effect:
Imagine a sea. There is a sea of electrons in a conductor. When we apply a potential this `sea' flows from
the higher to the lower potential. Further, if we place this conductor, in which current is flowing in a
magnetic field the moving charges tend to interact with the applied magnetic field and also deflect. This
detection results in a potential difference across or perpendicular to the conduction path, known as the
Hall voltage. Figure 3 illustrates how moving charges are deflected due to the applied magnetic field.
The magnitude of this force (FB) is given by,
Figure 3
where q is the charge and
is the velocity. The build-up of charges on one side generates an electric
field (E) perpendicular to the current as shown in Figure 3. These charges continue to accumulate till
the time force (FE) due to electric field,
FE = q E
is equal to the force due to the magnetic field (FB). Mathematically this equilibrium means that,

The voltage developed due to


where (VH) is the Hall voltage and w is the width of the conductor. Combining above two equations we

We know that the average velocity of electrons in terms of current (I) is given by,

where n is the volume density of electrons and A is the cross-sectional area, a product of width (w) and
thickness (T). Combining Equation 11 and Equation 10 we obtain the Hall voltage in terms of applied
magnetic field,


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Applied Physics Laboratory

The Halls effect is important in the study of materials, for example it helps us to find the number of
conducting particles in a wire and their charge. In our experiment, this effect holds a central importance
as we will use sensors developed using this principle to probe the magnetic fields generated by magnets.
Read heads in tape recorders and magnetic disk drives utilize this principle too.

Magnetic Field of a Disk Magnet:

Magnetic materials are made up of atoms which have magnetic dipole moment
. These randomly
aligned dipoles have a net magnetic dipole if we sum over a volume V. Mathematically, we can now
define magnetization


Task A:
1. Record the Hall voltage VH by placing the disk magnet at distances 1mm, 2mm, .,20mm.
2. Fit the recorded Hall voltages (linear readings) with the help of curve fitting code in Python.

This will give the magnetic field B(x) of the disk magnetic through measurements.

Figure4: (a) Hall probe voltage measurement, (b) disk magnet field mapping using a Hall probe.
Task B:
For a disk magnet the expression for the magnetic field strength as a function of distance is

Where is the permeability of free space (1.256x10-6) M is the magnetization of a disk magnet, x is the
distance along the magnetic axis from the disk magnet, l is the thickness of the disk magnet and a is the
radius. The term in brackets needs some mathematical detail in which we will not delve. However it is


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Applied Physics Laboratory

important to tell that it is a geometrical term which is the result of an integral depending upon the
dimensions of the magnet and solved over the distance at which we are measuring the field.
For the sake of simplicity lets replace

With the geometrical function f(x), obtaining

The goal is to find the magnetization of the disk using equation.



Output Voltage
Voltage by Linear







Post Lab Questions:


Define magnetic field and electric field?

Define magnetic flux?
What are the units of magnetic field and flux?
Give two examples of the world where magnetic field is important?
What is magnetization?
What are the factors that affect magnetization of a magnet?
Does the value magnetization is a constant property of any magnet?
What is the SI units of magnetization?
Explain Faradays law?
Explain Lenzs Law?


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Applied Physics Laboratory

11. Every electron has an inherited magnetic field around it, so why some elements behaves like
magnet and some do not?


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