Rotating disc machine, 1850-1900.

Rotating disc machine, 1850-1900.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm


This machine demonstrates one of the experiments performed by Michael Faraday (1791-1867) on using magnets to produce electric currents (electromagnetic induction). In 1831, Faraday had shown that moving one pole of a bar magnet into or out of a long coil of wire produced a pulse of electric current in the coil. Later, he rotated a copper disc between the poles of a powerful permanent magnet, and showed that a continuous current would flow in a wire connecting the centre of the disc to the edge of the disc.

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© Royal Institution / Science & Society Picture Library

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