Mental Floss

How to Turn a Battery Into a Homemade Electric Train

Michele Debczak

If you have copper wiring, a couple of magnets, and a battery sitting in the bottom of a drawer at home, you have the makings for your next rainy-day science experiment. In this demonstration reported by Nerdist, Physics Girl Dianna Cowern shows viewers how to make the world's simplest electric train, using a handful of household items.

Inspired by this video of a battery sandwiched between two magnets shooting through a wire coil, Cowern's project proves that what looks like magic is really electromagnetism. As she explains in detail in her video above, a magnetic field forms as the electrons from the battery flow between the magnets and the copper wire between them. The force is strong enough to push the train forward through the makeshift track.

Cowern used super-strong neodymium magnets in her video in order to maximize this effect. As you can see above, the power is strong enough to drive the battery train through a copper loop, providing a continuous source of entertainment. And if you're looking for more science experiments to try at home, this list can help you get started.

[h/t Nerdist]

All images via YouTube.