Electricity and Magnetism

Shaded Pole Motor

This exhibit demonstrates the operation of a SHADED POLE MOTOR. It's one of the most common types of electric motors, used in fans, movie projectors, and electric can openers. A shaded pole motor creates a moving magnetic field from ordinary household electricity. As the magnetic field moves, it drags a copper disk with it, making the disk spin. By turning a knob, visitors can change the direction in which the magnetic field moves, and thus control the disk's spin, causing it to either slow down, speed up, stop, or turn in the opposite direction.