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Motors use the effect of forces on current-carrying conductors in

magnetic fields
Saturday, 23 October 2010
9:45 AM

1.1 Discuss the effect on the magnitude of the force on a current carrying conductor of variations in:
- The strength of the magnetic field in which it is located
- The magnitude of the current in the conductor
- The length of the conductor in the external magnetic field
- The angle between the direction of the external magnetic field and the direction of the length of the conductor

1.2 Describe qualitatively and quantitatively the force between long parallel current-carrying conductors:
F is proportional to the current in each of the conductors, and the length of the conductor and inversely
proportional to the distance between the conductors
Where k = 2.0 x 10-7 NA-2
Two current carrying conductors when current in the same direction, force is towards each other
When current is in opposite directions, force is away from each other
1.3 Define torque as the turning moment of a force using:

1.4 Identify that the motor effect is due to the force acting on a current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field
A current carrying conductor in a magnetic field will experience a force
The direction of the force is determined by the right hand push rule
1.5 Describe the forces experienced by a current-carrying loop in a magnetic field and describe the net result of the
One side of the loop will go in one direction as the current travels along. The other side will move in the opposite
direction. At the top of rotation, there is 0 torque as the forces cancel. Inertia keeps the coil moving. To continue
moving through the other side, the current must be reversed by a commutator.
1.6 Describe the main features of a DC electric motor and the role of each feature
Commutator: changes the current direction in the rotor/armature every half cycle so as to continue the motion of
the motor
Brushes: transfer current from power supply to the commutator - made of a soft material or spring loaded so as
not to provide too much friction and slow down the motor
Armature/rotor: moving part of the motor, that has a current flowing through it which produces a magnetic field
which interacts with the field magnets
Field magnets (stator): produce a constant magnetic field which interacts with the magnetic field of the rotor

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1.7 Identify that the required magnetic fields in DC motors can be produced either by current-carrying coils or
permanent magnets
Stator can be either an electromagnet OR a permanent magnet. An electromagnet will generally produce a more
powerful, directed magnetic field
1.9 Perform a first-hand investigation to demonstrate the motor effect
Circuit set up so a piece of copper wire is free to move and placed on a permanent magnet
When the power supply is turned on, the wire moves
When the magnet is reversed, the wire moves in the opposite direction
Conclusion: a current carrying conductor in a magnetic field experiences a force
1.12 Identify data sources, gather and process information to qualitatively describe the application of the motor
effect in:
- The galvanometer
- The loudspeaker
Galvanometer: Magnetic field from coil interacts with permanent magnetic field and motor effect force pushes the
movable coil and the needle. A spring is also attached that provides a reverse torque. When the reverse torque matches
the forwards torque produced by the motor effect, the needle stops.

Circuit constructed so AC is at same frequency as sound wave. Current passes through a coil which is free to move. AC
current produces a movement in the coil because of motor effect interaction. Coil attached to a speaker cone which
produces compressions and rarefactions in the air, which is a sound wave.

9.3 Motors and Generators Page 13

2. The relative motion between a conductor and magnetic field is

used to generate an electrical voltage
Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:03 AM

2.1 Outline Michael Faraday's discovery of the generation of an electric current by a moving
Wrapped two coils around a block of wood. One attached to a galvanometer, the other to a
battery. When battery was turned off or on, a small current was measured in the
galvanometer (i.e. a changing magnetic field produced a current)
Moving a permanent magnet near a coil also generated a current in the coil
2.2 Define magnetic field strength B as magnetic flux density
Magnetic field strength is magnetic flux density, best visualised as the amount of field lines
present in a particular area
2.3 Describe the concept of magnetic flux in terms of magnetic flux density and surface area
Magnetic flux () measured in Waber's (Wb) is magnetic flux density (measured in Tesla (T))
multiplied by area (m2). That is:
2.4 Describe generated potential difference as the rate of change of magnetic flux through a circuit
Size of emf is the rate of change of flux over time:

Anything that effects the rate at which field lines are moving through the conductor effects
the size of the emf
2.5 Account for Lenz's Law in terms of conservation of energy and relate it to the production of
back emf in motors
Lenz's Law states: "An induced current is always in such a direction as to oppose the motion or
change causing it"
That is, the direction of an induced current is such that the force produced is in the opposite
direction to the direction of movement of the conductor.
This is in accordance with the law of conservation of energy in that if the force produced
added to the force supplied, the conductor would continue to speed up without stopping, thus
violating thermodynamics.
2.6 Explain that, in electric motors, back emf opposes the supply emf
As a motors speed increases, the potential difference across it decreases. This is because the
rotation of the coil in the magnetic field induces a current in the coil which opposes the
direction of movement of the motor (Lenz's Law). This is known as back emf, and always
opposes the supply emf, decreasing the measured potential difference
2.7 Explain the production of eddy currents in terms of Lenz's Law
When a changing magnetic flux is generated in a chunk of a conductor (e.g. a sheet of metal),
small circular currents are induced which oppose this change. These are known as eddy
currents, and are produced in accordance with Lenz's Law
2.8 Perform and investigation to model the generation of an electric current by moving a magnet
in a coil or a coil near a magnet
When the magnet is placed in the coil a current is induced. Once the movement of the magnet
ceases, so too does the current. When the magnet is removed, a current is induced in the
opposite direction to the initial current.
2.9 Plan, choose equipment or resources for, and perform a first-hand investigation to predict and
9.3 Motors and Generators Page 14

2.9 Plan, choose equipment or resources for, and perform a first-hand investigation to predict and
verify the effect on a generated electric current when:
- The distance between the coil and magnet is varied
- The strength of the magnet is varied
- The relative motion between the coil and the magnet is varied
As distance between coil and magnet increases, generated electric current size decreased
As strength of the magnet is increased, generated electric current increases
As relative motion between coil and magnet increases, generated electric current increases
2.10 gather, analyse and present information to explain how induction is used in cooktops in
electric ranges

Eddy currents cause an increase in the temperature of the metal due to the collisions between
moving charges and the atoms of the metal, as well as agitation of atoms by the changing
magnetic field at high density. Thus when they are produced in the saucepan, the saucepan
heats up.
2.11 gather secondary information to identify how eddy currents have been utilised in
electromagnetic breaking

A moving metal disk in a magnetic field will have eddy currents induced in it. These will oppose
the direction of the rotation, thus slowing the disk down. This is known as electromagnetic

9.3 Motors and Generators Page 15

3. Generators are used to provide large scale power production

Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:04 AM

3.1 Describe the main components of a generator

Rotor: a rotating coil in the magnetic field in which the current will be produced in
Stator: field magnets to interact with the coil and produce a current
Brushes: to allow the transfer of power from the rotor to the terminals
Slip rings/commutator: depending on wether AC or DC is to be produced, these are the link
between the brushes and the coil (rotor) itself.
3.2 Compare the structure and function of a generator to an electric motor
The structure of a generator and an electric motor can be very similar, as they perform reverse
functions. A motor uses current to produce rotation, whilst a generator uses rotation to induce
3.3 Describe the differences between AC and DC generators
An AC generator has slip rings, which are permanent contacts between the coil and brushes.
A DC generator needs a commutator to reverse the direction of the current every half cycle.
(rectified DC is produced)
3.4 Discuss the energy losses that occur as energy is fed through transmission lines from the
generator to the consumer
As energy is fed through transmission lines, some is lost via heat energy over the vast
distances due to the resistance in the lines. Power = Voltage x Current, and Voltage = Current x
Resistance. Therefore, Power = Current2 x Resistance. Therefore, by reducing the current
flowing through a wire, the power loss is minimal.
Therefore, the energy that is transferred from generator to consumer is usually done at high
3.5 Asses the effects of the development of AC generators on society and the environment


Electric engines more efficient and produce less heat into

environment than steam engines, less fuel wast pollutants,
cleaner air, cleaner clothes
Cleaner environment means better health in people
Better health means greater ability to work
More efficient machinery in factories, cheaper produce
Greater demand for products ==> more employment
Hydroelectric schemes ==> work for thousands of people
Cheaper electricity ==> communications, refrigeration and food
Personal comfort improved (air conditioning, electric blankets
Leisure activities
Computer revolution
More opportunities ==> suburban sprawl

Atmospheric pollution has

increased enormously as
demand for electrical power
increase, pollution from burnt
fossil fuels
Heat pollution from coolant
Nuclear power stations ==>
nuclear waste disposal
Hydro schemes ==>
environmental costs
Ugly power lines
Transformers and substations
not visually attractive
Harmful effects from high
frequency electromagnetic
Long term elimination of
unskilled jobs

3.6 Plan, choose equipment or resources for, and perform a first-hand investigation to
demonstrate the production of an alternating current
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demonstrate the production of an alternating current

By moving a coil of wire in a magnetic field, an AC can be produced
3.7 Gather secondary information to discuss advantages/disadvantages of AC and DC generators
and relate these to their use
Advantages of AC
Brushes do not wear as fast
No possibility of an electrical short
AC generator therefore requires less maintenance
Much easier to draw current through a fixed
connection in the stator than through a commutator
Better suited to high current demands
Three phase electricity
Distribution over a wide area - easily transformed

Disadvantages of DC
Brushes wear down
Commutator bars wear down
Shorts between bars of
Larger the current, heavier the
rotor coils
Electric arcs and radio "noise"
Limited usefulness in high
current applications

Disadvantages of AC
Output not suitable for use with equipment that
needs a steady voltage

Advantages of DC
Output can be made smoother
Better for use in equipment
that needs a steady voltage

3.8 Analyse secondary information on the competition between Westinghouse and Edison to
supply electricity to cities
Westinghouse - AC - Westinghouse Electric
Westinghouse purchased patents off Nikola Tesla
Edison - DC - General Electric Company
Edison adopted a smear campaign to prove AC was dangerous
First electric chair (recommended by Edison) used AC
Didnt work as planned, Edison lost prestige over it
Westinghouse got contract for first electric fair, the Chicago World's Fair
AC eventually won out because it was more cost-efficient, could harness large natural
resources (e.g. Niagara falls) due to its ability to be placed a large distance from the city
Both companies morally and financially drained from long battle, Westinghouse begged Tesla
to rip up contract giving him large royalties, Tesla agreed
3.9 gather and analyse information to identify how transmission lines are:
- Insulated from supporting structures
- Protected from lightning strikes
Insulated from supporting structures:

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Insulated from supporting structures:

Protected from lightning strikes:

Continuous cable connected through all the towers that allows the electricity from the
lightning to be directed into the Earth and prevent damage to transmission lines or substations

9.3 Motors and Generators Page 18

4. Transformers allow generated voltage to be either increased or

decreased before it is used
Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:04 AM

4.1 describe the purpose of transformers in electrical circuits

A transformer is a device that steps up or steps down the voltage of a circuit. If a particular
voltage/current is needed in a circuit, then a transformer must be used
4.2 compare step-up and step-down transformers
All transformers consist of two coils of wire connected by an iron core. An AC is fed into the
first coil and thus a changing magnetic field is induced. This carries over to the secondary coil,
which then in turn induces a current.
The ratio of the turns in the coils determines the voltage produced on the other end.
If there are more turns in the primary coil, it is a step-down transformer
If there are more turns in the secondary coil, it is a step-up transformer
4.3 identify the relationship between the ratio of the number of turns in the primary and
secondary coils and the ration of primary to secondary voltage

4.4 explain why voltage transformations are related to conservation of energy

Electromotive force (voltage) is proportional to the amount of turns as well as the amount of
magnetic flux going through the coil. By changing the amount of turns, the produced voltage
is changing. The power in the primary coil must equal the power in the secondary coil (Law of
Conservation of Energy) and as such, if the voltage is increased, the current is decreased to
Thus in a step up transformer, the voltage is greater in the secondary coil, but the current is
less and in a step-down transformer, the voltage is less in the secondary coil, but the current is
4.5 explain the role of transformers in electricity sub-stations
To decrease energy lost via heat in wires over long distances, a large voltage and small current
must be used. Electricity sub-stations then take this and transform it into 240V AC for
domestic use and 415V AC for industrial use.
4.6 discuss why some electrical appliances in the home that are connected to the mains domestic
power supply use a transformer
Some electrical appliances need a lower voltage to operate due to the capacity of the circuit.
Therefore, some appliances use a transformer to achieve this.
4.7 discuss the impact of the development of transformers on society
Without transformers, electricity stations would have to produce exact voltages, resulting in
large currents.
Transformers allow the efficient transfer of energy
Therefore, power stations can be further away
Therefore, cities suffer less pollution from power stations
4.8 perform an investigation to model the structure of a transformer to demonstrate how
secondary voltage is produced
When the number of turns on the secondary coil is increased closer to the primary coil, the
voltage difference is less (i.e. the voltage is closer to the supply)
4.10 gather, analyse and use available evidence to discuss how difficulties of heating caused by
eddy currents in transformers may be overcome
9.3 Motors and Generators Page 19

eddy currents in transformers may be overcome

Laminated iron cores, that is, iron sheets separated by insulating glue rather than one piece of
metal reduces eddy currents
Use of other materials that have high resistance and therefore reduce eddy currents
4.11 gather and analyse secondary information to discuss the need for transformers in the transfer
of electrical energy from a power station to its point of use
Power station - voltages as high as 25kV. Step up transformers increase this further to about
This is transferred to a substation which reduces the voltage
Then a power line transformer reduces it to 240V or 415V

9.3 Motors and Generators Page 20

5. Motors are used in industries and the home usually to convert

electrical energy into more useful forms of energy
Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:04 AM

5.1 describe the main features of an AC electric motor

An armature
A field structure
In some AC motors, slip rings that conduct electricity to and from the motor
Induction Motor:
Two sets of electromagnets and a capacitor (stator)
Squirrel cage rotor
The capacitor means that the poles of one set of electromagnet are set up a fraction of a
cycle after the other so the rotor 'chases' the changing field
5.2 perform an investigation to demonstrate the principle of an AC induction motor
Rotating magnetic field established
Eddy currents in aluminium pie dish established which move the pie dish in a way so that the
magnetic flux change is minimised, i.e. the pie dish moves with the magnet
5.3 gather, process and analyse information to identify some of the energy transfers and
transformations involving the conversion of electrical energy into more useful forms in the home
and industry
Heating element transforms electrical energy into heat energy
Light energy in incandescent lights and TV screens
Microwave energy in a microwave
Kinetic energy in fans and food blenders
Sound energy in loudspeakers (after conversion to kinetic energy)
Kinetic energy in electric motors
Chemical energy in car batteries
Chemical energy in electroplating

9.3 Motors and Generators Page 21

Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:20 AM

Force on two parallel conductors:

Motor effect force:


Torque on a coil in a DC motor:

Voltage to turns ratio in a transformer:

9.3 Motors and Generators Page 22