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What is skin effect?

RF energy (a combination of voltages and currents) when traveling through a conductor will tend to travel on the outer part of the conductor.  The higher the frequency, the more the RF energy is traveling on the outer diameter of the wire, or traveling on the ‘skin’ of the conductor.  This effectively reduces the cross sectional area in which the energy can travel.  If it is only signal level the RF energy will pass thru the conductor with a minimal amount of attenuation attributed to resistive loss.  However, if the RF energy is significant, where a fair amount of power is being conducted through the conductor. Severe resistive losses may occur.  Dramatic lose of signal may occur.  Furthermore, major heating may occur that could cause the temperature on the contacts to rise above the curie temperature.  In this case, the reed leads will lose their magnetism resulting in the contacts opening.  This now can cause complete destruction of the reed switch contacts.  This is produced by the contacts reclosing once its temperature drops below the curie temperature and its magnetic properties are regained.  Now the contacts will close the full load and heating will begin again until the curie temperature is reached again.  Here the contact will open and close until the contacts are shorted or destroyed.  In this case, adding copper to the outer surface of the contacts and their leads will reduce and or eliminate the potentially disastereous effects.

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