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How does magnetic pull affect the force of an impact

  1. Jan 26, 2015 #1
    for example say I were to roll a magnetic ball down a hill and placed another magnet at the end of the hill, would the magnetic ball hit the magnet with more force than a non magnetic ball. This question is for my science fair, all people answering must be prepared to answer follow-up questions. Thanks
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  3. Jan 26, 2015 #2


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    Magnets have poles. It is difficult to answer without knowing how the poles are placed. Also is your magnetic ball a magnet or is just made of iron so it will be attracted by magnets?

    The only case I can answer to is an iron ball rolling down a hill toward the magnet. Here the magnet could speed up the rolling ball (how much - I have no idea) so the impact force would be greater.
  4. Jan 26, 2015 #3
    The ball is a positive magnet and the other is negative so there is is a magnetic pull between the two however, one is stationary and the other is rolling down the hill
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  5. Jan 27, 2015 #4


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    There is no such thing as a "positive" or "negative" magnet. Magnets have no net magnetic charge. Instead, as mathman hinted, magnets have north poles and south poles. This fact dramatically reduces the ability of a magnet to affect other magnets (or magnetic materials) at a distance.
  6. Jan 27, 2015 #5
    What exactly is a magnetic ball? Do you mean a ball of ferromagnetic material?
  7. Jan 27, 2015 #6
    Yes, sorry I had'nt completely studied the subject, I just have to get an interview before i can do the experiment. Also, I would appreciate it if anyone can recommend any
    articles or books that would help inform me on the subject
  8. Jan 28, 2015 #7


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    The experiment isn't very well defined. Impact forces typically depend on the stopping distance. A short stopping distance implies a high deceleration which in turn means high forces. Determining the stopping distance for two fairly rigid objects isn't easy. The force might depend more on how the stationary magnet is mounted.

    It might be better to look at the energy in the system just before the impact?
  9. Jan 28, 2015 #8

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    Did you perhaps instead mean "thank you in advance for your help and I would be grateful if you could answer some follow-up questions"?

    It would help if you better defined the problem - is a non-magnetic ball an unmagnetized ball? Or a ball made out of a non-magnetic material? What do you mean by positive and negative here? As pointed out, this is not a property of magnets. What you are writing is so unclear, it is hard to point you in the right direction.
  10. Jan 28, 2015 #9
    You're right that is what I meant.

    I'm very sorry if my question is unclear, this is my first time looking for advice on a forum so I'm not really used doing this. I'll remake my project, thank you for your help
  11. Jan 28, 2015 #10
    That's quite alright. Just get clarity on what sort of ball you're using for this experiment. I'm sure people here would be glad to help.
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