Science Experiments

Simple Motor - Homopolar motor

Thu, 27th Feb 2014

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What you Need

An AA battery

A strong rare earth magnet

A piece of solid copper wire

A small nut

A second magnet or some glue

What to do

Stick the magnet onto the bottom (negative end) of the battery, and stand the battery on top of it.


Battery and magnet

Top of homopolar motor

Battery on the nut

A way of stopping the wire falling off

Either stick the nut onto the top of the battery (positive end), or use a second magnet to hold it on. If you do this arrange the magnet so it is the other way up to the bottom magnet.

You now want to bend your piece of wire, so that it goes from the centre of your nut, making a contact with the positive end of the battery, to touch onto the side of the magnet and complete the circuit.


This is more difficult than it sounds, as the wire needs to be able to spin freely, without falling off or loosing contact, one nice solution to this is to bend your wire into a spiral so if it spins too fast it is held on by the other side of the spiral.

What may happen

If you get the wire the correct shape the wire should spin forming a simple electric motor

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