Electric Motor

Produced by the National STEM Centre and the Institute of Physics, this video shows a simple method for making an electric motor using a battery, strong magnets and a copper coil. It allows students to investigate Fleming's left hand rule and the forces generated in an electric motor.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Published by


Share this resource


This resource is part of Physics Demonstration Films

Lists that tag this content


Stuart Billington

Oh, that is just lovely!

Carol Davenport

The eLibrary also contains a similar activity, but using a nail as well. Simple to build. Details can be found here:



Yes Indeed!!! A current carrying conductor in a magnetic field, experiences a force and moves!!! Well done on the simplicity and effectiveness of this model!!


I am always needing short hands-on for sessions with some alternative curriculum KS4 students. A nice, safe 5 minute activity. Video clip just long enough.


Beautifully explained Alom! This is a really nice demo that, as you said never fails to fascinate children! Thanks for sharing this video,


Brilliant : cheap readily available materials : effective but simple demonstration of the Physics 


This looks great but I haven't been able to find any Neodynium magnets that big - can anyone tell me where I can get them from please?

Anna Richardson


Neodynium magnets can be bought from here:






can we use magnet from speaker


David Ferguson

Rapid also do rare earth magnets: four 20x10mm for ~£20. Most schools will have an account with them.

Speaker (ferrite) magnets are unlikely to work, both because of the smaller field strength and the lack of electrical conduction through the magnet .You could try a conductive paint on the ferrite but, I suspect, this is not likely to work.

David Ferguson, Physics technician