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I read the Wikipedia page on eddy currents and the explanation for braking confused me

At the leading edge of the magnet (left side) by the right hand rule the counterclockwise current creates a magnetic field pointed up, opposing the magnet's field, causing a repulsive force between the sheet and the leading edge of the magnet. In contrast, at the trailing edge (right side), the clockwise current causes a magnetic field pointed down, in the same direction as the magnet's field, creating an attractive force between the sheet and the trailing edge of the magnet. Both of these forces oppose the motion of the sheet.

How do two opposing forces vertical to the sheet cause a horizontal force on the sheet that opposes its motion? I looked elsewhere which instead said that the force IL X B on the portion of Eddy currents within the magnetic field caused the opposing motion. In the latter case I don't know how that creates an overall retarding force exactly, or how it's equivalent to the former case. Are electrons distributed to one side of the conductor, creating an electric field that in some way creates an overall opposing force?

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  • $\begingroup$ The forces from the two regions of the metal plate (the "leading edge" and the "trailing edge") are not acting in just the vertical direction. There are also horizontal force components to those two magnetic interactions, and those horizontal force components are acting counter to the motion of the metal plate. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Weir Apr 8 at 19:27

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