Magnetic Field Penetration
Date: April 28, 2011
Will magnetic fields pass through a nonmagnetic metal and
>still be attracted to a magnet on the other side?
Yes. happens all the time.
Just try putting an aluminum sheet between a magnet and some iron,
or between two magnets.
If the Aluminum is holding still, the blindfolded guy holding the magnets cannot tell the difference.
If your posted notes were made of paper-thin aluminum,
your refrigerator magnets would still work fine.
What the non-magnetic metal does do is act like magnetic molasses.
Not meaning sticky, but meaning gooey, as in viscous. Flows as needed, but not quickly.
Field lines through aluminum or copper do not want to change strength or move around fast.
If the aluminum sheet was kind of thick and it was slid sideways back-and-forth,
then the guy holding the magnets would get a hint that something was gently tugging sideways on this toys.
This a very easy question to answer.
Think about hanging drawings on the refrigerator door and you should be
able to come up with your own answer.
Tennant Creek NT
A magnetic field is not "attracted to" a magnet. When a magnet comes in
contact with a magnetic field, the magnetic field pushes or pulls the
magnet. A metal that is not attracted to magnet does not produce a
magnetic field of its own. It does not interfere with the original
field, so the field does reach the magnet.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
Andrew, think of a simple experiment to test it yourself.
See my simple experiment after your question.
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012