ME student here. I have managed to get through two control theory courses at my university, which I have managed to get A+s in despite having no idea why I am doing all of it. I understand the math (i.e. why RHP poles are not good for the system stability) but do not understand what any of it means and how it can be applied to the real world. I was wondering if anyone here can clear up some of my confusion in laymen terms. I have read on some website about how electric motors have two poles, subway cars have 9, aircraft may have 23 and spacecraft may have upwards of 100. What exactly do the poles represent, and what induces them into a system? Why do these systems have poles and what causes poles to be present? Any help is very much appreciated.