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In magnetism:

An eddy current is induced into a metal when magnetic lines of force move across it. A South pole causes circulating current in clockwise direction while a North pole causes current in counter-clockwise direction. These eddy currents thus buck the applied forces. Eddy currents are undesirable when induced into transformer cores causing power loss. Lamination of core material reduces current flow in the core. Current induced into the secondary winding of a transformer is a used to step-up or step-down voltages so that they can be of a correct size for end-use applications.


When time-varying magnetic field is applied to electrical machines like Transformers, a time-varying emf is induced in the transformer cores. A short circuit occurs at the molecular level in the core. Due to less resistance, a large current begins to flow in the core. This causes heating in the core. Actually the path of the current is circular resembling the circular waves in a pool of water (eddy). Hence these currents are called eddy currents.

In fluids:

In water flow, an eddy is a current that flows opposite the normal flow. If on a river, an eddy is a current that will flow upstream in a side channel filling it, even if the flow is in an opposite direction of the original flow. It is equivalent to a stream's water level rising because the river it feeds has more water in it than the stream, thus making the water flow upstream. It can also be an area that seems not to have a current at all.


Just like there exists a magnetic path due to current (charge) flow in a conductor (direction given by right hand rule), the thing works other way as well...

When there is a flux path crossing a current conducting material, there exists current paths around the flux line on the conductor plane centered to the point where flux line meets the plane. These currents are eddy currents.

Commonly available in magnetic circuits. Laminations are done to minimize the ability to flow eddy currents.

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โˆ™ 2011-03-17 17:11:51
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Q: What is an eddy current?
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