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Nasty Physics Assignment

  1. Mar 31, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] Nasty Physics Assignment

    I was given this question by my physics teacher

    "You were shown a demonstration whereby two cylindrical slugs of
    metal were allowed to free-fall down a hollow vertical tube made of
    One of the slugs, a magnet, took significantly longer to fall through
    the tube than the other.
    (i) Describe what you saw and try and explain why the fall times were
    different. Use the principles described in the lectures to help you.
    (ii) Can you think of a possible application for this effect?
    You may have to go to the library to find the answer.
    Minimum length should be one A4 page.
    A Clue: Eddy current."

    Does anyone have any idea what eddy currents has got to do with the result of this experiment????

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Do you have any idea what "eddy currents" are? If not, you might use your time at the library to look the term up. By the way, that sentence in the instructions "Use the principles described in the lectures to help you." looks important to me.
  4. Apr 1, 2003 #3
    I do know what eddy currents are, I have looked at my lecture notes but I am having difficulty finding the correlation between the theory and the practical. I am not expecting anyone to give me the answer, I merely need a starting point.
  5. Apr 1, 2003 #4
    Get two magnets, orient the north pole of each toward each other and
    see what happens.
  6. Apr 1, 2003 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    How does an electromagnet work? An electric generator? An electric motor?
    So tell us and we'll help you apply that to the current problem... We'll give you a nudge in the right direction.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2003
  7. Apr 1, 2003 #6
    Thanks anyway but I managed to solve the problem myself
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