Intro: World's Simplest Electric Train
With just three everyday items, you can make the "World's Simplest Electric Train!" This is a fun, simple, yet great science experiment.
20 gauge copper wire (non-insulated).
Two 5/8" x 3/8" neodymium magnets (our product DA6).
Step 1: Coil the Wire
The first thing you'll need to do is coil your copper wire! You can do this by hand, but it will take a long time and it gets tedious.
We used a 5/8" diameter dowel rod attached to a drill to quickly coil the copper wire. The video shows how. We used 20 gauge wire, in 50ft spools.
If you use the method we did, you'll want to drill a small hole through the diameter of the dowel, then feed the wire through this hole and bend it around the dowel. This will create a good starting point for the coil!
Step 2: Make the "train"
This step is pretty simple. Take your AA Battery and your magnets and put the magnets on either end of the battery.
IMPORTANT: You want to make sure that the magnets are repelling. So that means the south poles of each magnet need to be facing out, or the north. It doesn't matter which, but it does matter that if the battery wasn't there, the magnets would be repelling. (For help, watch the video at the end)
If your batteries are oriented incorrectly, you will know because the battery will just vibrate once placed into the copper wire.
Step 3: Make Your Track and Have Fun!
That's it! Truly simply.
You can make your track into all sorts of different shapes and designs...you can really have fun with it. Watch the video to see what we did!
Step 4: Experiment
We tried out different batteries, magnet sizes, and different gauge copper wire. We highlighted what we found worked best, but there are other options. Check out the table for some other options. This could be a fun, science experiment to see what works best.