Agellius CM asked:

My son built a project which was supposed to generate electricity to light a lightbulb. He didn’t follow any instructions but came up with his own idea, based on something he read in a book.What he did was put some strong neodymium magnets on three vertical, spinning shafts, with a copper coil in the middle. Then he soldered the copper wire onto a 2V LED from Radio Shack. He did burn off the enamel from the ends of the copper wire before soldering. But it doesn’t work. The LED doesn’t light and there is no reading at all on the voltmeter.

Is there any way to make this thing work as it is? Or is the design just totally wrong?

From what I’ve read I suspect it can’t work unless the magnets are all facing the same way. But his magnets are facing all different ways since they are spinning on three separate shafts. (He spins one shaft, and the forces from the magnets on that shaft cause the other two shafts to spin. Pretty clever, I thought.) Does it seem like that would be the main problem?

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