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Science

Generating electricity

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Electricity is generated when a coil of wire moves in a magnetic field. This is the basis of electricity generators. Most electricity is made in power stations by burning fuels.

The dynamo effect

An electric current is produced when a magnet is moved into a coil of wire in a circuit. The direction of the current is reversed when the magnet is moved out of the coil. It can also be reversed if the other pole of the magnet is moved into the coil. Check your understanding of the dynamo effect with this simulation:

Notice that no current is induced when the magnet is still, even if it is inside the coil.

Increasing the induced current

To increase the induced current:

  • move the magnet more quickly
  • use a stronger magnet
  • increase the number of turns on the coil.

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