What is an electric motor?
Just about any electrical device that has moving parts inside uses an electric motor. An electric motor changes electrical energy into motion.
Electric motors operate:
- air conditioners
- electric toys, such as trains and cars
- power tools.
A simple electric motor has several parts:
- a source of power—such as a battery or a plug
- a permanent magnet
- a loop of wire that can spin
- a motor shaft—a rod that can spin and move
Here is how a motor works:
- An electric current runs through the wire loop, making a magnetic field around the coil.
- The permanent magnet then pushes and pulls on the wire loop, making the loop spin.
- The spinning wire loop spins the shaft.
- The shaft, in turn, spins a wheel or gear. In larger motors, the loop of wire is a coil of wire. The coil is wound hundreds of times around an iron tube. This makes a very strong electromagnet for moving heavy objects or making things move very fast.