A compass is a device that is used to find the direction.
A compass
It consists of a glass box and a needle. A magnetic needle rotates freely inside the box. A dial is placed inside the box with directions marked on it. The needle coloured in red shows the magnetic north pole of the earth.
Uses of compass:
  • A compass is mainly used in ships and aeroplanes for navigation.
  • Mountaineers carry a compass to the unknown places to find their way out.
A mountaineer with a compass
Our magnet:
We can make our magnet with the help of a bar magnet.
Rubbing a bar magnet on an iron nail
  1. Place a rectangular piece of iron or a nail on the table.
  2. Place one end (pole) of a bar magnet near one edge of the iron piece or a nail.
  3. Till you reach the other end, move the bar magnet along the length of the iron or a nail.
  4. Now, bring the pole to the starting point of the iron or a nail and move it in the same direction again.
  5. Note that the pole of the magnet and its direction should not change.
  6. Repeat this process several times (around \(30\) to \(40\) times).
  7. Now, check whether it has become a magnet by placing a pin or some iron filings near the piece of iron or a nail.
  8. If not, continue the process again until it gets magnetized.
By this method, we can convert an iron nail, a needle or a blade into a magnet.
Own magnetic compass:
We can make our compass with the help of a magnetized needle.
  1. Take two styrofoam or thermocol balls and insert the magnetized needle into it as shown in the figure.
  2. Place the needle set up in a water bowl, such that it floats on the water.
Home-made compass
Even when the magnetized needle is placed in the water, the needle will point towards the north-south direction at rest. Instead of styrofoam or thermocol balls, we can use a dry leaf or a cork piece.
A dry leaf floating on water