Why is magnet attracting to non-magnetic copper
In an experiment by NightHawkInLight, very strange behaviour occurs when a large copper plate and a strong neodymium magnet were put together.
When a magnetic field moves through copper and many other metals, it causes electrons to reorganize themselves and flow in a circular pattern perpendicular to the oncoming electrons. You can imagine the electrons were very happy at the place they were before the magnet tried to move them around. So, they simply resist the change by generating a temporary magnetic field of their own.
In fact, the dropping of magnet through copper coil is considered a simplified model of how most of world’s electricity is generated.
Besides the generation of electricity, there are a few other practical applications for this sort of motion damping. High speed trains and even some roller coasters use a magnetic braking system set up in a way very similar to this with powerful magnets usually electromagnets elevated above a conductive surface. The magnets slow the vehicle down quickly without any surface-to-surface friction that causes damage in conventional braking system between brake pads and rotors. The magnet’s momentum is slowed by opposing magnetic fields generated by the flow of electrons in the copper.
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The above are related to two scientific principles Faraday’s law of induction and Lenz’s law. You will learn this under the topic of “Electromagnetic induction” in Physics tuition for O Level and IP.