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Q & A: magnetic motions

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Most recent answer: 03/27/2010
Q:
Why are magnets not used to create mechanical motion in generators?
- Caleb Olschewski (age 20)
Herriman, UT, USA
A:
A generator and an electrical motor are really the same device. When you input mechanical energy, it converts most of it to electrical energy. When you input electrical energy, it converts most of it to mechanical energy. Magnets play a big role either way.

What the device can't do is generate its own energy, bootstrapping mechanical into electrical back to mechanical with net growth of the energy. That would violate the laws of thermodynamics.

Mike W.

(published on 03/27/2010)

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