Electromagnetism was discovered by accident in 1821 by the Danish Physicist H.C. Ørsted. Electromagnetism is used both in the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy (in generators) and in the opposite direction in electric motors.
In the picture to the left we have set up an electric circuit with a coil of insulated copper wire, winding around an "iron" (magnetic steel) core.
Click the switch in the picture to the left to turn on the (direct) current, and watch what happens.
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Updated 19 September 2003