DC Motors

Electromagnets can be useful in motors. When we put an electromagnet into a permanent magnet, this can make a simple motor.

The things needed to make a DC (Direct current) motor:

  • Two split rings
  • A coil of wire
  • An axle
  • Two bar magnets

When these items are put together, a simple DC motor is created as shown in the image below.

When a DC current is passed through a wire in a magnetic field, it will cause the wire to move. This is known as the motor effect.

1. Turn the electromagnet on – It is connected to a cell, so it will have an electric current flowing through it

2. Turning on the electromagnet generates a magnetic field around the wire

3. The magnetic field of the wire interacts with the magnetic field of the permanent magnet

4. This interaction of magnetic fields will result in the rotation of the coil of wire to spin

If we wanted to increase the speed of the motor, we can:

  • Increase the current flowing through the coil
  • Increase the magnetic field strength

The spinning motion we produce from the motor can be connected to other things, which can make them move. This is what makes motors useful.