Slow day at the office? Here’s a trick that’ll make your coworkers smile. Dangerously Fun has a guide to build a homopolar motor from a battery, copper wire, and magnet. A homopolor motor doesn’t rely on electromagnets in an armature changing their polarity to force a rotation movement compared to stationary magnets. Instead, they use an electrical current’s orientation to a magnetic field to provide a repulsive or rotational force. In this implementation, the current moves through a loops of copper wire from one pole of a battery to the other. A rare-earth magnet on one pole of the battery provides the magnetic field.
After the break we’ve embedded video of this simple example as well as a few more complex homopolar examples such as a five speed version. The motor in action certainly brings a smile to our faces and places this firmly in the useless machines family of hacks.