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How an Electric Generator Works



How an Electric Generator Works
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    sine, electro-mechanical, induction, negative, electromagnetic, direct, century, principle, electromagnet, standard, revolution, position, generator, rotor, conductor, mechanical
     content words:    Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, United States, North America, In European


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How an Electric Generator Works
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Picture shows a late 19th century generator
 
2     Almost everyone uses electricity every day. Most of us just flip a switch and the light turns on or a motor starts running. Where does the electricity come from that makes all of those things work?
 
3     In most cases, electricity is produced in an electro-mechanical device called a generator. A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Electricity can be produced or "generated" because of a principle called electromagnetic induction. This principle was discovered by a British and an American scientist. Their names were Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry. The principle states that when an electric conductor, like a copper wire, is moved through a magnetic field, electric current will flow through the conductor. Faraday and Henry also found that when a magnet is moved inside a coil of wire, electric current is generated.

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