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electrical energy to _________ mechanical - Convert __________ _________ (motion) energy.

- A Demo to illustrate a simple motor effect When current in the solenoid is in the direction shown, the magnet will attract _________. in Why?
When the direction of the current is reversed, the magnet repel will ______. Why? S magnetic ________, field which The current produces a ___________

interacts with the magnetic field of the hanging magnet.

DC Electric Motor
In a DC electric motor, the magnetic field is _______ fixed and its the ___________________ current-carrying coil that moves (spins). The current-carrying coil moves because the magnetic field it produces interacts with the fixed magnetic field present in the motor. How do these 2 magnetic fields interact to produce a rotation, you ask? Lets see..

Another Right Hand Rule

A 2nd right hand rule can be used to find the direction of the force on a current-carrying wire that is placed in a magnetic field.
Direction of current (from + to -) Direction of force on wire

Direction of magnetic field (from North to South)

Thumb, index finger, and middle finger are all at right angles (like x, y, & z axes)

Examples (and Demos):

What direction is the force on the current-carrying wire when placed in the magnetic field in each case?

The direction of the force on the wire is _______________ out of the page

The direction of the force on the wire is _______________ into the page

Back to the DC Electric Motor

In a DC Motor, the wire is coiled into a loop and placed between a fixed magnetic field. The Right-Hand Rule can be used to explain why the loop begins to rotate

Top View:

The direction of the force on the wire on the right into the page from the top view perspective. is ____________

So, what keeps the loop rotating?

Split-ring commutator is used to change A _____________________ the direction of the _________ current every half of a rotation. Since the current through the coil changes direction, the direction of the force on the wires changes ________________. direction
Split-Ring Commutator

Split-Ring Commutator


Animation of DC Motor at

An Application: How a Car Starter works

When you turn the key, the ignition switch closes and current is drawn from the battery solenoid (an _______________). through the _________ electromagnet The magnetic field then ______ pulls the core into the solenoid. Through a lever, the starter gear out to engage with a (pinion) then moves _____ ____ flywheel very large gear called the ________.

How a Car Starter works

From David Macaulays book, The Way Things Work.

How a Car Starter works

Once the starter gear has moved out and engages the flywheel, the electric starter DC motor turns on, causing the ________ starter ______ gear to begin to spin, which causes flywheel to then the _________ begin to turn.

How a Car Starter works

The flywheel is connected to crankshaft the _______________, so when the flywheel turns, the crankshaft begins to _____________ rotate. This causes the ___________ to move up and pistons combustion down, causing ___________ in the cylinders. The cars gasoline engine takes over from here. When you release the key, the starter gear then disengages from the moving flywheel.

AC Electric Motor
An AC motor is more complex!...
There is no fixed magnet. Alternating current is run through fixed coils of wire which then produce a rotating magnetic field which forces either a current-carrying movable coil or a magnetic rotor to rotate around in a circle.

Demo: AC Weed Whacker Motor

Teslas AC Motor

Mechanical (motion) energy to -Convert ___________________ electrical ___________ energy. motor reverse -JUST A _________ in _________!

Demo: Spinning
a coil of wire in a magnetic field produces alternating _______ current (Use Meter to see it!)

A Bicycle Generator made by Silas Tappendorf and Sam Mate, 2009

WHY is a current produced?

Notice that the amount of magnetic field lines through the loop changes _______ as the loop rotates

So if the amount of magnetic field lines through the loop changes as the loop is rotated in the magnetic Faradays field, according to ___________ Law, current a __________ is induced in the loop.
In America, the power companys generators produce ___ AC 60 Hz at ______.


DC voltage can be generated by Split-ring commutator adding a ___________________.

Animation of AC Generator at

Animation of DC Generator at

A Summary
Parts found in BOTH a DC motor and a DC generator.

A coil of wire, a fixed magnet, and a commutator

Motor: Put in electrical energy

Motion out

Generator: Put in motion energy..

Electrical out


1. 3 Volt Motors/Generators
2. Faraday Flashlight


Recall the common sources of mechanical energy for electrical power plants: Coal: Burning coal heats up water, producing steam Nuclear: Heat produced from nuclear fission heats up water, producing steam Wind: Kinetic energy of wind drives turbine Hydroelectric: Potential energy of water converts to kinetic which drives turbines

Hoover Dam generates electricity for part of the West Coast

Video from Building Big: Dams

The Future??...

Using the tides to generate electricity?