An experimental setup to study the skin effect involving two identical solenoids, one empty and the other filled with mercury, is described. The solenoids are excited by an external frequency generator. We investigate the effects of shielding inside a metal for induced high frequency azimuthal currents by varying the frequency from 1000 to 10,000 Hz. We model the distribution of the induced emf and the magnetic field and show that a simple model based on Maxwell’s equations is satisfactory. We discuss how the setup can be implemented as an experiment for students taking their first course in electromagnetism beyond the usual introductory physics sequence.

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