Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    Recreating Faraday’s Experiment: The Birth of the Electric Motor

    In the world of electric motors, the fundamental principles have remained relatively unchanged for over a century. A combination of a stator and rotor, constructed from magnetic materials, along with strategically positioned loops of wire, forms the basic structure of an electric motor. However, the development of these foundational components required extensive experimentation by notable physicists throughout history.

    One such physicist was Michael Faraday, who played a crucial role in pioneering the concept of turning electricity into motion. Faraday’s experiment, conducted in the 19th century, involved investigating the interaction between a current-carrying wire and a permanent magnet. The aim was to understand the relationship between electricity and magnetism. Now, more than 200 years later, designer Markus Bindhammer has recreated Faraday’s experiment in a faithful homage to the original design.

    In Bindhammer’s video, he takes viewers through the entire construction process. Starting with rods and sheet metal, he meticulously crafts each component of the motor, including a precise knife switch. While Faraday used mercury as the conductive liquid, Bindhammer opted for saltwater as a safer and more cost-effective alternative. However, the use of saltwater did pose some challenges, as it gradually corroded the brass wire through electrolysis.

    Faraday’s motor, although not particularly practical, served as a significant milestone in proving that electric energy could be converted into motion using magnetism. This experimental breakthrough led to the development of homopolar motors, a class of simple motors. It would take years of further research by notable scientists like Tesla and Ferraris to refine the design, eventually leading to the modern AC motors we use today.

    The recreation of Faraday’s experiment by Markus Bindhammer not only pays tribute to one of the greatest physicists in history but also serves as a reminder of the remarkable progress made in the field of electric motors. Thanks to the contributions of visionaries like Faraday, our understanding and utilization of electric energy have been revolutionized.