What is an electric motor?

An electric motor uses electrical energy to produce mechanical energy. The reverse process, that of using mechanical energy to produce electrical energy, is accomplished by a generator or dynamo. Traction motors used on locomotives and some electric and hybrid automobiles often perform both tasks if the vehicle is equipped with dynamic brakes. Electric motors are found in household appliances such as fans, refrigerators, washing machines, pool pumps, floor vacuums, and fan-forced ovens. They are also found in many other devices such as computer equipment, in its disk drives, printers, and fans; and in some sound and video playing and recording equipment as DVD/CD players and recorders, tape players and recorders, and record players. Electric motors are also found in several kinds of toys such as some kinds of vehicles and robotic toys.

An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most electric motors operate through interacting magnetic field and current carrying conductors to generate force but a few use electrostatic forces.