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How to Build George Green’s Magnetic Motor With Magnets and Scotch Tape


Magnetic motors are something every DIYer should experiment. Some say they are endless sources of free energy, some say they aren’t.

The fact is that they need an outside energy source since magetic fields are just what the name suggests – fields. They are closed loops and do not produce mechanical work by themselves, without added energy (otherwise we would all have unlimited amounts of free power and will destroy ourselves in a matter of months).

However, if we could shield one of a magnet’s poles from the others, we might get something interesting. Watch the video below and try to replicate it at home, with different setups. It was initially discovered by George Green, a British mathematician, in the 19th century.

You can use a CD box cover and magnets of various shapes, just like you see in the video.

It’s very important that you take care of the orientation of the magnets: the north poles of the ones that make up the ring have to face inside, and the ones on the rotor (the CD) have to face the north side up.

The disk needs a path to follow of least resistance, and you can find it by slowly moving the ring until it starts spinning.  This creates a magnetic vortex like the one below:

The experiment pictured in following video is a good starting point for someone who wants to play with magnets and maybe explore beyond what’s already been discovered.

[via Magnetic Games/instructables]


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