In the second part of our guide to Electric Motors, we take a quick look at how they work and some applications for the most common types of motor.
An electric motor is a machine which is powered by electricity and converts it into a mechanical force. There are a number of devices which do this such as a loudspeaker or industrial fan for example, but the electric motor specifically generates ROTARY motion. This rotary motion can drive a shaft on which other mechanical elements can be driven. This motion can then be applied to drive the machinery behind things as small as a wristwatch to gigantic ship propulsion propellers. Electric motors are quickly replacing the more traditional hydraulic cylinders in airplanes and also in some military equipment.
As the first part of our complete guide to Electric Motors, we take a look at the complex and contentious history of electric motor invention.
The history of electric motors is a long and complicated one. Many elements went into the creation of what we know today as electric motors; you could examine back as far as the 600 BC when Thales of Miletus wrote about what we now know as static electricity, and as up-to-date as the newest electric vehicles. As such, timelines usually differ in small ways, and this is by no means a definitive list of all relevant inventions; we have only tried to create as accurate a timeline pertaining to electric motors specifically. The timeline is muddled further as many people throughout the world were independently working on the same projects, meaning often the inventor who secured the patent is credited as the true creator. Read more