The moving magnet creates eddy currents in the copper that cause a counter force, slowing down the magnet. An eddy current (also known as Foucault current) is an electrical phenomenon discovered by French physicist Léon Foucault in 1851. It is caused when a conductor is exposed to a changing magnetic field due to relative motion of the field source and conductor; or due to variations of the field with time. This can cause a circulating flow of electrons, or a current, within the body of the conductor. These circulating eddies of current create induced magnetic fields that oppose the change of the original magnetic field due to Lenz's law, causing repulsive or drag forces between the conductor and the magnet. The stronger the applied magnetic field, or the greater the electrical conductivity of the conductor, or the faster the field that the conductor is exposed to changes, then the greater the currents that are developed and the greater the opposing field. If you want to try a cool experiment, see goo.gl/a3FTdU.
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