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Name: Mahmoud
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

There are two cylindrical slugs of metal were allowed to free-fall down a hollow vertical tube made of copper. One of the slugs, a magnet, took significantly longer to fall through the tube than the other. -Why?

The moving magnetic field induces an electric current in the surrounding conductor, and the magnetic field resulting from this "eddy current" opposes the field of the falling magnet. If the conductor were a superconductor, that is, if no energy were lost by the induced current, the induced magnetic field would be able to completely prevent the permanent magnet from moving. This is the principle behind magnetic levitation. You question sounds like a homework question; for the actual equations governing this behavior, look in your physics book under "eddy currents" or "Lenz's Law."

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.

The changing magnetic flux sets up eddy currents in the copper which produce their own magnetic field opposing the change in magnetic flux. This produces a force on the magnetic slug.

Tim Mooney

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