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I know that the phenomenon of a magnetic field being generated by a current running through a wore is because of relativistic effects in the electric field that creates magnetic effects. But how exactly does a magnet relatively spinning around a coil of wire generate an electric current? (Sorry if it's a stupid question)

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  • $\begingroup$ The symmetry of Maxwell's equations guarantees that moving charges generate magnetic fields and likewise moving magnets generate electric fields. $\endgroup$ – Lewis Miller Sep 30 '16 at 14:51
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Faraday's law of induction tells us that a changing magnetic field induces an electric field (a voltage), and this electric field will cause a current in a conductor, if the conductor forms a circuit. Chapter 5 of Electricity and Magnetism by Purcell and Morin explains these relations in terms of special relativity.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a rather weak answer because it doesn't actually answer the question. Instead it just give the name of the principle that answers the question and a couple of references to books. We generally prefer answer to be self contained: links to outside references and resources are good for supporting and expanding on an answer posted here, but the answer should be here. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Oct 1 '16 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ Write the answer then if you want to. $\endgroup$ – Suzu Hirose Oct 1 '16 at 4:20
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Magnetic fields push and pull electrons inside the wire. When the electrons move a current is created. Metals do this very well because the atoms are missing valence electrons making it easier for electrons to move.

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  • $\begingroup$ Magnetic fields DO NOT push or pull electrons. CHANGING magnetic fields induce an electric field, and the electric field acts on charged particles. $\endgroup$ – Suzu Hirose Sep 30 '16 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ @SuzuHirose magnetic fields do move electrons when the magnetic field is spinning like you stated in your question. You can choose whatever words you want but you're still going to need electrons. But you don't need to capital letters $\endgroup$ – Bill Alsept Sep 30 '16 at 5:54

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