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Is Copper Magnetic?

Copper is not magnetic. Copper can, however, influence and also be influenced by a magnetic field. Copper has relatively unstable electrons in its molecular makeup. These electrons can be induced to generate an electric current when a moving magnetic field passes by, or in the reverse situation, when a magnet passes through a coil of copper wire.

Copper offers very low resistance to electrical current and is therefore highly efficient when used in electrical wiring to transfer an electrical current. In other applications, Copper is used to create Eddy currents which can act as a brake or dampening system. Faradays Law shows that as a magnet passes by a copper surface the electrons in the copper surface are induced to generate an electrical current. The resulting electromagnetic field will create a opposing and resistant magnetic force that is perpendicular to the original magnetic field. The intensity of the resulting field relates to all the component materials and their respective size, strength and shape. These resulting opposing forces can be applied to many practical applications such as train braking systems. This type of electromagnetic field can also be used to generate heat for an electric induction stovetop.