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Make an Eddy-current motor

Suitable For

Grade 7



Time Required

 <24 Hours



What’s it about?

In electro-magnetic induction, a ‘conductor’ is placed in a changing magnetic field, causing electrical current to be generated in the ‘conductor’. The ‘conductor’ is often a piece of wire that is wrapped into a coil, but it does not have to be in the shape of a coil, nor does it need to be wire. It could be a piece of flat steel, aluminium plate, or any other conductive object.

When current is induced in such a conductor, the induced current often flows in small circles that resemble eddies in a stream. These electrical currents were named eddy currents. In the following science experiment, we you can demonstrate how eddy currents work by making a eddy-current motor:

Topics covered

Conductor, Induction, Magnetism, Eddy-current

What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment one can see that there exist some slight magnetic force between the magnet and the aluminium plate even though magnets only attract iron. Circular currents or ‘eddy currents’ are created above the aluminium plate as the magnet spins over it, and these currents also produces a magnetic field above the plate’s surface. The magnetic field above the pan spins in the same direction as the magnet and this in turn, causes the pan to spin. If the magnet picks up speed, the pan will also spin faster, but will never keep up with the magnet.

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