Academic journal article Teaching Science

Motor Madness

Academic journal article Teaching Science

Motor Madness

Article excerpt


* 25 cm copper wire

* Craft knife (if the wire is insulated)

* Lighter (if the wire is not insulated)

* AA battery

* 2 small neodymium magnets about the same diameter as the battery (available from electronics stores)

* Pliers

WARNING: This activity involves using a craft knife or lighter. Younger readers should ask for an adult's help.

1. Straighten the 25 cm of copper wire. If the wire is coated with insulating plastic, carefully use the craft knife to remove it. If the wire is uninsulated, it might have a protective coating on its surface. Hold the wire with pliers, and pass it through the flame from the lighter. Beware - the flame makes the wire hot, so let it cool before touching it.

2. Bend the wire into a loveheart shape, with the ends meeting towards the bottom of the heart.

3. Place both magnets on the flat end of the battery (this end is the - end) and stand it upright on a table top with the magnets at the bottom.

4. Balance the inside of the top 'V' part of the loveheart on the bump at the '+' end of the battery. Bend the wire so the two ends at the bottom of the heart lightly touch either side of the magnets. Bend the ends of the wire so they are parallel to the table's surface and pointing towards each other, but make sure the wire doesn't touch the table. …

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