Q&A: How does electric motors and generators work?

electric generators

How does electric motors and generators work?

Best answer:

Answer by redwind64
The short answer is that when you move an electric charge through a magnetic field, it experiences a force.

Therefore, if you rotate a coil of wire through a magnetic field, the electrons in the wire feel a force that pushes them out of the wire (as long as there is a place to go). 'Volts' is the measure of force that they feel. This is what a generator does. For example, falling water spins a turbine attached to a coil - the coil produces electricity.

A motor works the same way, but in reverse. If you pass current through a wire that is in a magnetic field, the wire will experience a force that will cause it (if appropriately mounted) to rotate.

Note that in each case, the force is at right angles to the direction of motion through the field.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
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