Electromagnetism in action: the physics behind metal detection
Metal detectors are everywhere, from airports and concert venues to freshly ploughed fields where adventurous treasure hunters feel lucky. Not that many people are aware that you can actually make a detector in the lab, applying the principles of electromagnetism combined with a relatively simple electrical circuit. But what goes on in such a device while looking for metal
Students were challenged to construct a metal detector from scratch and evaluate its efficiency through extensive testing with various materials, depths and metals. From the start, it became clear that the project was not just about researching electromagnetic principles, but substantial knowledge on electronics was equally essential to build a working detector.
The project group successfully constructed two working types: a beat frequency oscillation detector and a pulse induction detector, testing both devices on sensitivity on metals and different objects.
"This was a cool, hands-on project that went far beyond simple experimenting with electromagnetic phenomena, demanding a lot more from us on building electronic circuits and figuring out how they work."
Emma den Brok