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Q & A: water resistance and magnets

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Most recent answer: 03/06/2009
Q:
Hello, I was researching on under water magnets for a project and found your website very informative. But now I ask, you say water would make such a minimal difference it would not be notice when you using two magnets. What about when you use a a magnet attached to a steel boat that is holding another metal like a rocket, and they travel 5,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. My first question is can a magnet be use to hold 2 things underwater? and my second question is, will the resistance of the water make a difference?
- Daniel L (age 14)
Manchester, NH
A:
Magnets can be used to hold things together underwater. Sure, friction with water is a very important force. That's true for a boat with a motor or a boat being dragged by something else using a magnet. Our point was that the water hardly has any effect on the magnetic forces. That's very different from saying that water doesn't exert large forces.
Mike W.

(published on 03/06/2009)

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