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Magneto has control over magnetic fields, very high strength ones, but can he apply fast moving alternating fields? If so he should be able to perform induction heating, in fact, with his power he should be able to melt virtually any metal object, including non-magnetic (ferrous) ones. In fact he can produce such powerful fields he might even be able to heat non-metallic objects this way, or boil water. Has Magneto ever done this, and if not, why not?

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Magneto has done this at least once - as long as an alternate future counts. In UNCANNY AVENGERS (2012) #18, in a future where Earth's mutant population has been relocated to their own planet, he uses it while attempting to stop Havok and the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), who are trying to go back in time to save Earth before all this happens.

Havok and Wasp threatened by hot metal hands

How do I know this was Magneto's doing, or even that those are hot metal hands?

Magneto using induction to make hot metal hands

He tells us so himself.

Mind you, I make no claims that this is working anything like actual magnetic induction would; I'm just telling you what Rick Remender (writer of the comic) claims is happening.

  • He can heat metal alright; but how does he control it afterwards, since molten metal usually loses metallic properties? – Gallifreyan Jul 21 '17 at 21:29
  • It appears that the writers ship the best and most outrageously awesome feats of comic book physics to alternative universes. What a shame (I'm looking at you, Old Man Logan). – Gallifreyan Jul 21 '17 at 21:31
  • @Gallifreyan good point, but he could still be levitating it using eddy currents. Here's a cool video. I've marked this as the answer. I wonder if he can do it to an ice cube. – crobar Jul 24 '17 at 7:33
  • That would require the magnetic field to oscillate ridiculously fast. Still possible though, good point. – Gallifreyan Jul 24 '17 at 7:42
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Magneto possesses the power to control all forms of magnetism. He can shape and manipulate magnetic fields that exist naturally or artificially. It is unclear, however, whether he must draw magnetic force from outside himself (if so, then he can do so over vast distances), or whether he can also generate magnetic force from within himself. Nor is it clear whether Magneto's power is psionic or purely physiological in nature. Magneto's power is, for all practical purposes, limitless. Moreover, he can use his magnetic powers in more than one way simultaneously. He can completely assemble a complicated machine within seconds through his powers. He can erect magnetic force fields with a high degree of impenetrability around himself for protection.

From marvel.com

More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/universe/Magneto_(Max_Eisenhardt)#ixzz4kdmWAmnP

Additionally:

Although Magneto’s primary power is control over magnetism, he can also project or manipulate any form of energy that is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays, and x-rays. However, Magneto almost always uses only magnetism, since it’s more difficult for him to manipulate other forms of energy. Magneto has also exhibited powers of astral projection and telepathy, and has claimed to be able to control the minds of others, though his abilities along these lines appear to be minimal.

From marvel.com

So yes it would seem he is capable of heating a object, on his wiki page it is also mentioned that he can change objects via its molecules at will, however that feat is not backed up by a source on the page itself and as such I will not quote that.

  • but, he has never done this so far? Obviously if he can manipulate magnetic fields he can in principle achieve induction heating (all he actually needs to do is turn the field on and off, and probably not even that rapidly since he can produce high strength fields). – crobar Jun 21 '17 at 13:47
  • The key thing is how fast can he alter the fields, nothing indicated he can do that above a few Hz (turn on fast sure, turn off fast sure, turn on-of-on-off...). Likewise what sort of Fourier components can he control. He maybe a mutant but he is at the core human and humans can't control to any degree of accuracy at the frequencies needed for induction heating – Naib Jun 22 '17 at 16:23
  • The eddy currents induced are proportional to the square of the frequency, but also linearly with the applied field. If magneto can produce fields in the 10s of Tesla he only needs a few hrtz, which could be achieved by flicking the field on and off about the same speed you can flick a lightbulb on and off. – crobar Jun 23 '17 at 8:29

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