July 16, 2008

Ferro-Fluid Demonstrations!

A ferrofluid is a liquid which becomes strongly polarised in the presence of a magnetic field.

The fluid is basically made up of very small (nano-small) particles of ferromagnetic material. Ferromagnetic items are the same type of magnets you would find on your refrigerator, except these are obviously much smaller. They are usually suspended in water, and something interesting is that although they are a common type of magnet, they do not retain their magnatism on their own, only when an external magnatism is applied. That is what gives them the ability to display the external magnetic field so well. Thus people for a a few yars now have conducted living sculptures with this fluid, the results are amazing!

This one's so crazy that it looks computer-generated. With lots of preperation, the people who produced this video were able to create art with slowly moving magnets around the colloid of liquid and magnetic particles.

The electrons (delocalised) around the molecules are pushed to one side of the liquid by the magnetic field. Like charges repel (in the same way your hair stands on end if you rub a balloon on it.)

This one's long and a bit out of focus, but the music makes it creepy and the setup makes it look very alien like!

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