Dear Alex --
There are a couple of reasons why the Eddy Current activity might not work
with stainless steel tubing. One is that the resistance is too high, and the
eddy currents are not large enough to affect the motion of the magnet. This
is probably the situation for the nonferrous stainless steel tubing you refer
to. Another factor is that some "stainless steel" is actually attracted by a
magnet -- e.g., refrigerator magnets will actually stick to many "stainless
steel" kitchen utensils.
Hope this answers your question.
Exploratorium Teacher Institute
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