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Why is a metallic ball attracted to an electromagnet?

  1. Mar 24, 2015 #1
    I always heard that magnetic forces don't do work, and that they act perpendicularly to the direction of movement.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2015 #2
    that's not true. when a magnetic material enters a magnetic field, it electrons align to the field such that it creates a magnetic dipole in which unlike poles become complementary and hence there i a net attractive magnetic force on the object. so it does work on it.

  4. Mar 25, 2015 #3

    Philip Wood

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    Gold Member

    The magnetic force on a moving charge is at right angles to the velocity of then charge, and so does no work on it. But neither the metal ball nor the magnet is a moving charge. In this case, it is as Aceix says.
  5. Mar 25, 2015 #4


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    Science Advisor

    Whoever first claimed that a magnetic field can do no work needs to be arrested, tried, and shot for crimes against the minds of our youth.
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