MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 948"
How Everything Works 18 Jun 2018. 18 Jun 2018 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=948>.
948. How do electric/magnetic linear drives work?
Linear electric motors are very much like rotary electric motors—they use the forces between magnetic poles to push one object relative to another. But while a rotary motor uses these forces to twist a rotor around in a circle, a linear motor uses these forces to push a carriage along a track. Both the carriage and the track must contain magnets and at least some of these magnets must be electromagnets that can be turned on and off, or reversed. By timing the operations of the electromagnets properly, the linear motor pushes or pulls the carriage along the track smoothly and continuously.

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