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Electric Currents in Copper Wire

  1. May 26, 2008 #1
    Hey all, I was wondering about a varied version of something.

    I know that if you run a magnet up and down a tightly coiled tube of copper, it creates an electric current through the wire. I also know the reverse, which is that if you passed a current through that wire, while it was wrapped around a ferrous or magnetic substance, it will become magnetized (an electromagnet).

    What I was wondering, is that would this still apply, if you replaced the ordinary magnet with a magnetic ball, still running it up and down the tube. (Assuming) the ball would roll over going both ways, with its poles moving around, would an electric current still be produced in the copper wire? Or would the poles have to be in the same position all the time?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2008 #2
    As long as it is a magnet, yes, it will induce a current in the conducting coil or tube as it is inserted and pulled out.
  4. May 27, 2008 #3
    But surely if the ball (hence, the poles) was moving around in random directions, the magnetic field would fail to produce a current because it is not going in a specific direction with a specific north/south force?
  5. May 27, 2008 #4
    (Magnetic balls do have north and south poles)
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