Next time you want to tell a loved one how you feel, you can build them an electrically powered heart. In the video above posted on YouTube by MrfixitRick, two copper-wire hearts spin together as one in a romantic dance (set to the doo-wop tune “Be Excellent to Each Other”). The simple spinning invention is called a homopolar motor.
These motors are easy to make. To build one of your own, all you need are three common household items: copper wire, an AA battery, and a magnet. For the magnet in the video, MrfixitRick used a bass speaker and a stack of pennies to direct the current flow.
The flat, negative end of the battery is placed on top of the magnet. When the copper wire touches the battery’s positive terminal tip it completes the electric circuit and begins to rotate. The homopolar motor was first demonstrated by scientist Michael Faraday in 1821, making it the very first electrical motor to ever be built.
“The flat heart shape is the most basic of homopolar motors,” MrfixitRick writes in this how-to guide. But people have gotten creative and elaborate with the wire shapes.
Someone crafted a carousel.
MrfixitRick has also made a dragonfly homopolar motor that even hums and vibrates.
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