Modeling the interaction of a slowly rotating hollow conducting sphere in a magnetic field provided an understanding of the dynamics of orbiting space objects moving through the Earth's magnetic field. This analysis, performed in the late 1950s and limited to uniform magnetic fields, was innovative and acknowledged the pioneers who first observed rotary magnetism, in particular, the seminal work of Hertz in 1880. Now, there is interest in using a magnetic field produced by one space object to stop the spin of a second object so that docking can occur. In this paper, we consider, yet again, the interaction of a rotating hollow sphere in a magnetic field. We show that the predicted results can be tested experimentally, making this an interesting advanced student project. This analysis also sheds light on a rich set of previously unaddressed behaviors involving eddy currents.
A slowly rotating hollow sphere in a magnetic field: First steps to de-spin a space object
Robert C. Youngquist, Mark A. Nurge, Stanley O. Starr, Frederick A. Leve, Mason Peck; A slowly rotating hollow sphere in a magnetic field: First steps to de-spin a space object. Am. J. Phys. 1 March 2016; 84 (3): 181–191. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4936633
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