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Hi Steve ,
If measuring a screw ( aluminum I believe ) used to retain a handle at a fixed angle attached to a bar to determine if the metal is ferrous with a magnetometer should you get a jump down in readings if the screw being measured terminates into non ferrous

I'm trying to interpret this question, but I keep coming up confused.  If you're running a magnetometer over a ferrous material and you run across any kind of non-ferrous defect (hole, aluminum screw, etc) then the readings will "jump down" no matter what they terminate in.  Can you perhaps explain your procedure with more detail?  A screw used to retain a handle at a fixed angle...that could be envisioned in dozens of ways, at least.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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