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Water in a magnetic field

  1. Aug 28, 2012 #1
    How exactly does water behave in a magnetic field? I've seen pictures of a boat that uses electromagnetic rail technology to move across water, but I still don't fully grasp it.

    Also, does this behavior change when temperatures rise or fall?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi jWald. http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/5826/rotwel.gif [Broken]

    Magnetohydrodynamics? It involves passing a lot of current through sea water in the presence of a strong magnetic field. So having a nuclear reactor aboard your ship to supply all that electricity is practically essential. Google it and you'll find as much information as you can handle.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Aug 28, 2012 #3
    I don't think that water is affected by magnetic fields- it would have to be ionized, or polarized.
  5. Aug 28, 2012 #4
    What about salt water?
  6. Aug 28, 2012 #5
    Seawater is always heavily ionized. If you send a current through the water, a magnetic field can excert a force on it.
  7. Aug 28, 2012 #6
    And the reaction force could cause the type of propulsion the OP was wondering about?
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