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Fascinating Experiment: How can a copper pipe interact with a magnet?

Magnets are not attracted to copper, but incredibly strong magnets interact with copper in a pretty amazing way. If you drop a neodymium magnet down through a copper pipe it’s descent is slowed. The stronger the magnet and the thicker the pipe, the slower the fall. Take a look.


This is an excellent demonstration of Lenz’s law and eddy currents. If you’re not familiar with Lenz’s Law, Wikipedia defines it as: “An induced electromotive force (emf) always gives rise to a current whose magnetic field opposes the original change in magnetic flux”.