How to Make an Electric Motor Using a 9V Battery

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When making an electric motor with a 9-volt battery, there are two main components, which include a pair of field magnets and a coil. Learn about passing an electric current through a coil with help from a science teacher in this free video on electric motors.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones, I'm going to tell you how to make a 9 volt electric motor. Well there are two main components, one of them is a pair of field magnets, now you can't make those, so what you have to do for these is you have to go buy them in a shop. They're usually ceramic magnets, they're flat, and some are like a centimeter thick, and they have a north pole on one side and a south pole on the other, they are not like a bar magnet with a north pole at one end and south pole at the other, they're just like this, this drawing. The second component is this, which we call the coil. Now the coil is important because without that the thing doesn't work, that's what we pass the electric current through. This is a form of- this is a piece of wood, and through the center of it usually we put a tube of some kind, it could be glass, it could be metal, it doesn't matter, and through the center of that tube we could put an axle, maybe a knitting needle, something like that, and secure it to a base with a couple of pins, like split pins are quite good. You push them into a hole and then you put the needle through them. The coil is wrapped around here, and as you can see you have an end here, and I'm showing you here, the end is going along this piece here, and then it goes round and round and round and round and round, and when you get to the other side you bring the end to the other side and down the side, and the end of this wire should be bared. We use a single strand, single strand copper, tinned copper usually, tinned copper wire, and you'll need about 2 meters at the most. So the ends you just cut the insulation on it, the insulation is plastic, you just cut it off so this is bare metal. Now if this is a metal tube you must cover it with an insulator, something like a decent tape. Then you secure the two, and they must be exactly- there's the coil in that direction, the tube coming through, and you can see the two pieces of wire at the end are exactly opposite here, that's exactly where they must be, not up there, not down here, anywhere else, exactly at the side. And then your bare wire from the battery, the 9 volt battery, you've got one this side one the other side, these can be attached to the bottom board on each side, and they come up and rest on here, they rest on these two pieces of wire. Then as soon as you attach them to the battery and give it a little flick, it will begin to rotate. This part is called the commutator, and if you don't have this it won't continue to rotate, it'll just turn halfway around and stop. What this does is it changes over the current every half circle to keep it rotating in the magnetic field which is produced by the magnets. So this coil is placed between the magnets, flicked, and it will rotate. And that is your simple 9 volt electric motor.

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