Here’s a project for all of you. I would like you all to make a small electric motor or a small electric generator. You will find a lot of help on the Internet, including Youtube videos, on how to make small electric motors and generators of different kinds. I am not suggesting any one kind of design over another. Choose any design that you want to try making. Also feel free to experiment and tinker with the given design. You might come up with a simpler or more interesting design yourself.
Faraday’s Disk – the first electric generator
I would suggest Arvind Gupta’s website as one of the resources you might want to take a look at. See the short films under the title ‘ELECTRICITY EXPERIMENTS’ on this page: http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/films.html
We will use these models during our classes on electromagnetism. It will be easier for you to make these models right now during these holidays due to easier availability of resources at home. Do not forget to bring the models to school. It would also form a major part of the ‘internal assessment’ in your physics course. And before you go off on a tangent and spend your valuable time making a model which ‘looks’ neat and beautiful because I mentioned ‘internal assessment’, here’s something for you to think about:
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs
In case you are making a motor, try rotating something with your motor. If you are making a generator, try making it work using different sources of energy – water from the running tap, wind, etc. And yes, your generator should be able to at least light up an LED.