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Planetary Electromagnetic Field

  1. Feb 12, 2015 #1
    First of all I'm not sure where in the world this topic would fit at, so I put it in Electrical Engineering because my assumption is that electrical engineers may have the answers for this question more so than anyone else, but mods, if you feel this thread would be better off in a different location then please move it.

    Ok, so I've been racking my brain on a few things lately, my co-workers have been going back and forth on different topics here and there (last time it was about general relativity, this time it's about planetary rotation in regards to electromagnetic fields).

    Here's the thing. It's theorized that the Earth's magnetic field is what protects the earth from cosmic radiation and destructive particles emitted from the sun. It is therefore theorized that a contributing factor to the planets Mars and Venus having drastically different atmospheres is also due to the lack of a strong magnetic field to prevent cosmic rays from stripping away their atmosphere. Mars has a pretty screwed up magnetic field that I'm pretty sure can't be repaired, however, Venus' magnetic field could be corrected only if it were to spin faster due to its iron core.

    SO, here's my question:

    Could you hypothetically cause a metal ball to spin or rotate more rapidly by utilizing an outside magnetic field? Like an oscillating magnetic 'burst' to twist or push the sphere in a specific direction? I'm not sure that I'm explaining this properly, but I've seen several other theories like smashing asteroids into venus to make it rotate faster, but I'm wondering, could by technical theoretical standards a large enough magnetic field actually be utilized, if enough power and energy were produced, to slowly rotate the planet eventually to create a 24 hour day instead of a 116 day 'earth day'?

    Again, not sure if this is the right spot or not, but I'm curious to know if something like that would even be possible on a lower scale.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2015 #2


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  4. Feb 12, 2015 #3
    Oh awesome, thank you DEvens!
  5. Feb 13, 2015 #4


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    Yes. You can drag a conductive object by placing it in a rotating magnetic field.
    That is how induction motors work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_motor

    The Earth's magnetic field only protects the surface from some charged particles, mainly protons.
    Most other particles collide with the atmosphere or reach the surface. We do not need the Earth's magnetic field to survive.
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