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Eddy Current

In the Aether Physics Model, eddy current is a unit of measurement equal to the unit of magnetic flux squared1.  According to the Aether Physics Model, this is equivalent to angular momentum times resistance:

Eddy current is also equal to potential times 4p times inductance...

According to Dr. James B. Calvert2 in a online web page about Eddy Currents, it has been reasoned that eddy currents are complete path electrical currents that flow through a conductor.  

"A magnet produces a pure magnetic field in its rest frame. Anything moving with respect to the magnet sees an electric field in addition to the magnetic field, that is roughly proportional to the relative velocity. An electron free to move, as in copper, will be set into motion by the electric field it sees. ... This current is called the eddy current, since it flows in closed loops in a conducting plate like eddying water."

He goes on to describe the physical eddy current within a copper tube, down which a neodymium-iron-boron (NIB) magnet is dropped; 

"the magnetic field passes through the tube walls at top and bottom in opposite directions, producing eddy currents that are essentially rings about the tube, flowing in opposite directions at top and bottom, and moving with the falling magnet."

In an effort to test this theory I dropped a NIB magnet down a copper tube.  The magnet is 1" in diameter and nearly " thick.

Figure 1. 1" NIB Magnet

As the magnet dropped, it dropped at a much slower velocity than it would in free space, as Dr. Calvert explained it would.

Figure 2. Magnet falling down un-slit tube.

During the descent the plane of the magnet was near perfect perpendicular to the length of the tube throughout its travel.

According to Dr. Calvert, the magnetic field of the magnet moving through the copper tube makes the copper tube see an electric current.  This electric current would flow along one direction near the top of the magnet and in the opposite direction near the bottom of the magnet.

To test this theory I had my son take a section of copper pipe and cut it along its length, thus preventing any current flow around the periphery of the tube.

 
Figure 3. Tube with slit along length.

Conducting the experiment, the magnet was dropped into this slit tube.  If the eddy currents were propagating through the periphery of the tube, they would not form in this experiment and I expected the magnet would drop straight through.

Figures 4 & 5 Magnet falling down slit tube.

But as can be seen in the photos above, the magnet still dropped through at a slow rate.  The rate was slightly faster than the rate of drop through the un-slit tube.  In addition, the magnet did not fall perpendicular to the length of the tube.  Instead, the magnet fell with a noticeable tilt toward the slit.  

The interpretation of this experiment is that the eddy current is a result of the angular momentum of the atoms within the magnetic field times the resistance of the atoms within the magnetic field.  Along the slit, there are no atoms and thus no eddy currents, and so the magnet tends to fall faster along this area.  But the angular momentum in the atoms along the path of the magnetic field still contribute to eddy currents and thus the other parts of the magnet tend to fall slower.  This results in the tilt of the magnet as it falls.

In a preliminary test with a cheap handheld ohmmeter, I connected to each edge of the slit in order to test for resistance around the periphery as the magnet fell through the tube.  When the magnet was stationary and at the top of the tube, the total resistance was .3 Ohm.  As the magnet fell through the tube and reached the points where the voltmeter probes were attached, the total resistance increased to .4 Ohm to .8 Ohm, depending on the size of the magnet.  As the magnet continued its drop passed the probe points, the resistance dropped to .2 Ohm before returning to .3 Ohm.

I have since purchased an HP 34970A data acquisition switch with a built in digital multimeter.   Two terminals were soldered mid-length, one on each side of the slit as in Figure 6. 

Figure 6. Slit tube with leads attached mid-length.

The magnet was dropped down the tube while the resistance was measured at the terminals.  Several tests were run and each test produced the same graph, as shown below.

Figure 1.  Resistance of copper pipe over time 
at point of measurement as magnet falls through pipe.

The spike at the beginning of the drop occurred each test.  It is clearly seen that apparent resistance increases as the magnet approaches the test leads and then abruptly decreases just before passing.  Then the resistance gradually returns to normal as the magnet moves away.  

It was also noted that when no magnet was falling through the pipe, the resistance in the copper continued to vary to a minute degree.  It is deduced that the Earth's magnetic field also causes a small, measurable variation of resistance in metals via eddy currents.

When leaving the leads connected to the copper pipe over a long period of time, it was noted that temperature also affected measurements as did the DC voltage generated by the DMM.  Over time, the small voltage across the copper leads will reduce the resistance of the copper.  When the leads are removed even for a brief instant the resistance rebounds upward to a certain level.  This appears to be due to the magnetic alignment of the electrons within the copper.  More experiments can be performed to better quantify the effect of eddy current in metal.

The preliminary conclusion that can be reached is that eddy current is an actual unit of electrical behavior.  The current produced is within each atom and not within the macro structure of the atoms (copper tube in this case,) at least not under normal conditions.  It can be further concluded that the properties of angular momentum and resistance are capable of interacting to produce a combined effect that we call eddy currents.

Addendum:

To satisfy the valid concerns of some scientists, the experiment was repeated with certain modifications.  A four wire resistance measurement was made in order to eliminate the resistance of the meter leads.  Electrical tape was wrapped around the outer circumference of the magnet to prevent electrical contact with the copper tube.  A new slit tube was constructed from an 11.875" length of 1.55" inside diameter copper pipe.  A 1.48" outside diameter (including electrical tape) NIB magnet was dropped through the tube.

As with the smaller slit tube, the resistance measurement changed constantly due to the pipe acting as an antenna and picking up stray electromagnetic radiation.  The apparent resistance of the copper tube measured from the edges of the slits, and without the magnet dropping through the pipe, varied from +2mΩ to -1mΩ.  When the magnet dropped through the pipe the apparent resistance decreased to -271mΩ and increased to 299mΩ.  (Click on the image below for a larger version.)

The magnetic polarity used in the second experiment was opposite the magnetic polarity of the first experiment, hence the apparent resistance starts out as a negative instead of positive.  The data table can be viewed here.

Electrons cannot pass through atoms, they can only pass along their surface.  Therefore the resistance of a material does not refer to an actual property of the material, but rather to the effect the material has on the space immediately surrounding it, through which electrons pass.  Thus a moving magnetic field can influence the immediate space, and the behavior of electrons passing through it.  

The mechanism for altering the resistance near a material is the generation of potential, which is induced by the moving magnetic field.  The generated potential is a quantum potential acting on each subatomic particle, rather than a macro potential imposed from an outside power source.

The graph demonstrates the general idea put for the Dr. Calvert about opposite flowing currents is generally true.  However, the hypothesis must be modified to state that the oppositely flowing currents are quantum currents, and do not flow around the periphery of the pipe.

1 A Course in Electrical Engineering Volume II - Alternating Currents, McGraw Hill Book Company, Inc., 1947 pg 259
2 Dr. James B. Calvert, Associate Professor Emeritus of Engineering, University of Denver Registered Professional Engineer, State of Colorado No.12317
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Last updated on Friday, June 13, 2008 03:58:51 PM