Magnetic Data Storage: explaining the mechanism behind mag stripes

– Our group will be explaining the physics behind mag stripes using Faraday’s Law and the principles of induced magnetic fields, induced current, and induced Electromotive Force. We will attempt to explain the complex mechanisms in a fairly simple way.

– In the experimental part of our project, we will be swiping vcards at varying velocities using different types of data storage (swiping for building access and swiping for food). We will record the minimum and maximum swipe velocities that are accepted by the card readers. Because we won’t be able to determine the various speeds by eye, we will have to use Logger Pro to do that.

-We will also explore the difference between magstripes on different types of cards (subway cards, credit cards, vcards etc.) and how different data is stored on the magnetic stripe. We will attempt to contact the card office on campus to see the process in which our ID cards are created

-There aren’t necessarily certain outcomes because our project is mostly theoretical, and it’s just explaining a mechanism that’s already known extensively. We do not have any expectations for what swiping speeds will be accepted by the card readers on campus.

  • Tim will be doing the theoretical aspect of the project. He will be explaining the physics behind the mechanisms in magstripes and magnetic data storage.
  • Dan will be recording video and plotting data tables on LoggerPro and assisting with investigating the physics.
  • Alex will be doing the experimental aspect of the project – he will be going around campus swiping student ID cards at varying speeds.

Technology used:  vcards, camera, loggerpro

Meeting times: MWF 5-6pm, location (TBA) –

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