Eli5 What causes a metal to levitate in a magnetic field?


For e.g a piece of metal hovering in the middle of a solenoid with Ac current running through it. What causes the piece of metal to hover/leviathan in the middle of the coil?

In: Physics

Magnetic metals have a bunch of electrons that are relatively free and easy to move around. When these electrons are exposed to an elector-magnetic field, they get pushed around and move to one side, inducing an elector-magnetic field in the metal as well. If the field is strong enough, the push of the electrons is strong enough to pull the metal along with it. This is known as the motor principle.