Use the power of electromagnetism to create your own spinning sculpture!
Ages: 8 - 16
30 minutes - 1 hour
A little messy
Gather your materials.
Stack your battery on top of your neodymium magnets with the flat side of the battery on the magnets.
Cut a piece of magnet
wire about 30 cm in length. Then bend the wire in half
to make a “V.” Keeping the very bottom of the "V" in place, mold the wire into a rectangle. The sides should be about 5 cm.
Check to make sure the wire rectangle fits around the batter. You might need to adjust the the
wire so that
one end touches the
magnets at the bottom. Cut the wire as needed!
Balance the "V" in the wire on top of the battery and see if it spins!
Getting the wire to
balance can take a few
tries—keep at it!
Show off your spinning sculptures!
Decorate! Make decorations for your spinning sculpture. Symmetrical decorations work best.
Don’t forget to
disconnect the wire.
The battery and wire
can get hot!
These spinning sculptures are an example of homopolar motors. Homopolar motors are a type of motor that is powered by something called a Lorentz Force.
The Lorentz Force occurs when an electric force (the electricity running through the copper wire) meets a magnetic force (the magnets). The collision of these two forces causes your sculpture to spin!
Watch this video to learn more.
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