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At some point in every engineer's academic career, they probably got to try their hand at creating an electric motor with parts that included a nail, a few feet of copper wire, and a magnet. If your own school days somehow missed this formative event, or if those times of yore are feeling a little distant, pop in after the jump to see a couple of motors that have been pared down to the absolute minimum. This video doesn't exactly describe what happens in an electric car, but it does show off som

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Dysprosium is a chemical element with the symbol Dy and atomic number 66. It's also a rare-earth metal, found mainly in the clay ores of southern China. Dy has one of the highest magnetic strengths of any element, making it ideal for electric motors used in battery-powered vehicles, but access to this rare-earth metal can be often limited by export restrictions enforced by the Chinese government.