A friend of mine is a bit of an armchair physicist and has been reading up on different types of electric motors over recent weeks. I often have to sound the 'nerd!' alert when such readings take place, but no matter, the neighbours are used to it.
My Friend the Nerd (as we shall call him) often reads snippets of his scientific findings out so happily we all benefit from his learning and add to our stores of under-used pub trivia answers.
From these recitations I have learnt more about Kuiper Belt objects, how to teleport photons, and just what kind of concrete can absorb carbon than your average kettle could ever hope to know.
But one thing I didn't know until today is just how funny physicists could be. In the course of his investigations into electric motors My Friend the Nerd came across some lecture notes from John Storey, Professor of Physics at the University of NSW. Professor Storey's interests include infrared and millimetre astronomy, Antarctic astronomy and energy efficient vehicles, making him possibly the coolest dinner party guest on the planet (and probably in the Kuiper Belt too).
Let me share with you Professor Storey's comments on printed circuit motors:
Sometimes called "pancake motors", these are a particular cunning motor configuration whose operation is in some ways is easier to visualise than that of a conventional motor. They fit into confined spaces (say inside a car door, to make the windows go up and down) and, because the rotor is light and has little rotational inertia, can accelerate to full speed and stop again very rapidly.Unless you're into drive-by shootings! For all the years I spent at uni and all the arty farty subjects I studied I never came across a lecturer who was a. as creative in his or her jokes, and b. as bloody funny.
This feature isn't so important for car windows (unless you’re into drive-by shootings), but is essential for industrial robots and other servo mechanisms.
I raise my photovoltaic array to you, Professor Storey.