Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Making 3-D Magnetic Fields

If you mix iron filings with baby oil or vegetable oil in a quart jar, shake the mixture very well, and then hold a magnet near the jar, you can see magnetic fields in 3-D! It's really cool and we played with it for a long time. (It's a bit tricky to clean the jar afterwards, but if you let the filings settle, pour out most of the oil, and then wipe the jar out with a paper towel, you can avoid getting most of the filings into your sink drain.)

Different kinds of magnets make different fields! It's fun to experiment with.

The little ones loved it too.
Stronger magnets pull more filings into their field!

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