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Powerful forces arise when a pulse of a magnetic field in the order of a few tesla diffuses into a conductor. Such pulses are used in electromagnetic forming, impact welding of dissimilar materials and grain refinement of solidifying alloys. Strong magnetic field pulses are generated by the discharge current of a capacitor bank. We consider analytically the penetration of such pulse into a conducting half-space. Besides the exact solution we obtain two simple self-similar approximate solutions for two sequential stages of the initial transient. Furthermore, a general solution is provided for the external field given as a power series of time. Each term of this solution represents a self-similar function for which we obtain an explicit expression. The validity range of various approximate analytical solutions is evaluated by comparison to the exact solution.


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