Author's Suggestions for Minimalist Motors

title description rating post date author
Faraday Motor

This lesson shows how to construct and operate a modern version of the first electric motor, invented by Michael Faraday. It serves as an excellent demonstration or hands-on activity to show the basic principles behind the operation of an electric motor.

Learning goals...

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
30-Jan-13 guy Faraday motor
An Electric Screw Motor

This lesson gives instructions for one of the simplest and most popular designs for a homemade motor. It can be used as an in-class demonstration, or a hands-on activity for students, or a take-home kit. In any of these modes, it offers a wonderful introduction to the...

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy screw motor
Iron and Magnets

This lesson provides general backround on magnets, and suggests several classroom activities involving magnets and iron filings. These include 

  • identifying magnetic materials
  • staging paper clip battles
  • finding the north pole of a magnet
  • ...
Average: 3 (7 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy bar magnet with field lines
Basic Electromagnets

This lesson provides some general background on electromagnets and describes three simple activities for students to explore on their own. For reference, it also includes formulas for the magnetic field strength around several common types of electromagnets.


Average: 2.8 (4 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy wire solenoid with bolt
Classroom Rail Gun

This lesson introduces two homemade versions of the "electric rail gun", a device that uses the principles of electromagnetic propulsion to drive a rod or axle along a pair of conducting rails. Both versions are suitable for in-class demonstration or hands-on activities....

Average: 4.1 (21 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy rail gun with magnets
A Survey of Simple Electric Motors

This lesson provides general background on motors and surveys a number of projects for constructing simple motors.

Motors teach us about several of the basic ideas of electromagnetism, but the fundamental operation of a motor rests on only two simple principles:

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)
24-Jan-13 guy