Magnetic Toys

Iridescent Ferrofluid

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From Etsy: BUY NOW: Iridescent Ferrofluid 

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Iridescent Ferrofluid: the latest formulation of colloidal ferromagnetic liquid in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension display cell. The interplay between magnetic force and surface tension allows for the strange shape shifting from rounded blobs to starfish like spikes. As with all ferrofluids on the market, the chemical formulation is kept a trade secret-- and the coloring on this version is spectacular!

Electric Generator Demonstator

Get this very similar demonstation here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Electric Generator

I upgraded this version with a larger LED light bulb: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW: 3V LED lightbulbs and E26 Socket

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Generator Teaching Demo: The electrical energy that comes to your home is produced by some device somewhere moving a coil of wire next to a magnet to produce an electric current (known as Faraday’s law of induction). This tabletop demonstration uses a crank and belt drive to spin the coil between the north and south poles. The ends of the coil are attached to the two smooth metal pieces on the shaft (the commutator) that makes contact with the output wires and connects to the lightbulb. Maximum current is produced when the axis of the coil is at a right angle to the magnetic field- so the current comes in a series of pulses and the bulb flashes on and off. Physics of energy transfer: mechanical kinetic energy→ electrical energy→ light energy. 

Rhythmic Ferrofluid

Get this affordable ferrofluid device here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Iridescent Ferrofluid (select option "rhythm machine")

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Rhythmic Ferrofluid: an iridescent magnetic fluid interacts with a variable strength electromagnet (like those found in speakers). A circuit supplies power to the electromagnet in proportion to the sound waves picked up by a microphone, the changing magnetic field- combined with the liquid surface tension of the colloidal ferromagnetic liquid- produces the captivating motion that keeps time with any music played. 


Iron Filing Field Detector

This device and similar ones available here: 

From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Field Demonstrator Kits 

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Iron Filing Field Detector: visualizing the invisible- the magnetic field lines around a dipole bar magnet. In the presence of a magnetic field, ferromagnetic materials (such as iron) temporarily become magnets. Here the iron filings become dipole magnets and link up and align like tiny compass needles to follow and reveal the magnetic field lines associated with the permanent magnet underneath. Viscous silicone oil temporarily keeps the iron particles suspended yet allows for rotation and repositioning under the influence of the magnetic field.

The HoverPen 3.0

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From Amazon: BUY NOW: HoverPen 3.0 

The HoverPen 3.0: A sleek and weighty writing pen defying gravity- at an elegant angle of 60 degrees- trapped by a magnetic field via precision engineered placement of neodymium magnets in a space age base design. 

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In Defiance of Gravity

Neodymium magnets will produce the largest gap when suspending a nail or other iron rich objects.
Please use exterme caution when handling these magnets. 

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Neodymium Super Magnet

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In Defiance of Gravity: a 3 oz plumb bob in suspension between a chain and a powerful neodymium magnet. Ferromagnetic attraction over a distance of many millimeters, and a reminder of the presence of the typically invisible electromagnetic forces all around us. Sculpture: oak, stainless steel chain and hardware, neodymium super magnet, standard plumb bob tool. Iron filings in oil align and chain together to reveal the magnetic field lines of the equilibrium configuration.


Vertical Mendocino Motor

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From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Vertical Mendocino Motor

From engineDIY: BUY NOW Horizontal Levitating Motor (on all models here-remove brown protective film to reveal clear acrylic on rotor)

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Mendocino Motor:  each face of a solar cell is connected to a coil of copper wire across from the opposing solar cell. When the rotor is lit from one side the lit solar cell provides electric current to the coil in the opposite position which becomes a temporary electromagnet that pushes against the permanent magnets in the base propelling the rotor to rotate. As the rotor turns, the coil that moves into the position near the magnet is likewise energized by the solar cell currently at the top- one can say the light commutates this motor. Magnetic bearings to reduce friction in both models. Invented in the 1960s by Daryl Chapin of Bell Labs and popularized by Larry Springs of Mendocino CA