Electromagnetic Induction,Motors and Transformers

It’s common for some students to struggle when learning about transformers, motors and electromagnetic induction. It requires the combination of an understanding of the relationships between current, potential difference (and resistance) as well as the interaction between magnetic fields and charge carrying conductors. It is also common for the magnetic effect of a current, the electric motor and the generator (dynamo) to be taught a separate phenomena rather than all part of the same set of ideas and so this can cause challenges as the connections between these are not clear in the student's mind.

The building of electric motors can be a fun and engaging activity but equally the physical complexity of the activity can create barriers to understanding. The simple electric motor shown first in the list below (the homopolar motor) can help to show the interaction between a current carrying ‘wire’ and a magnetic field as a principle although can become quite complex if you look too closely at the magnetic fields involved.

The PhET simulation Faraday’s Electromagnetic Lab is very helpful is walking students and teachers through the ideas that are at the core of all of these ideas. The resources below should provide practical ideas to introduce these topics to students.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance