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Q & A: magnetically induced currents in copper pipe

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Most recent answer: 01/15/2014
Q:
I know that simple generators produce electricity by moving a magnet through coiled copper wire. My question is does moving a magnet through a copper pipe also produce an electric current? Does it have to be coiled wire or will a copper pipe work too? I have seen the demonstration of lentz law of dropping a strong magnet through a copper pipe and how the magnetic field slows the drop rate but not sure if it also creates a small electrical current as well.
- Jeff johnson (age 20)
East lansing, mi
A:

The moving magnet does certainly induce eddy currents in the pipe. It's those eddy currents that make the magnetic field that slows the magnet's fall. Since the currents just go around the pipe, they aren't available for driving another circuit.

Mike W,


(published on 01/15/2014)

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