The World's Simplest Electric Motor - The Homopolar Motor

Some history to begin, this simple electric motor works on relationships between magnetism and electricity, first formulated by a Frenchman in 1820, with the concept developed further in by a British scientist a year later in 1821. He demonstrated this first electric motor, known as a Homopolar motor.

Simple Motor Diagram

Elements Needed:

What to do.

  1. Put a small dent in negative end (flat end) of the battery with a Phillips head screw driver. This will be where the top end of the copper wire coil sits.
  2. Put the magnet on the positive end of the battery. (There are myths that say putting magnets on batteries can make them explode. This is not true; there is nothing in the battery that could cause this to happen.)
  3. Coil the wire as shown in the diagram. You can use the battery as a guide to form the coil, but the coil should be slightly bigger than the battery so it can spin freely around the battery.
  4. Put the coil on the battery as shown in the diagram.
  5. The coil should begin to spin around the battery. Make any small adjustments to the coil as necessary to allow it to spin freely.

Congratulations! You have just put together the world`s simplest electric motor!

(A CAUTION: only use motor a few minutes at a time as the battery will get warm.)