November 8, 2010

"In this image..."

"... a small drop of ferrofluid is placed within a magnetic field created by a neodymium iron-boron rare-earth magnet."

26 comments:

Scott M said...

Sweet. I wonder if that's actual color or post-production shading to look more pleasing to the science geek eye. Either way, very cool.

I saw something on SCI where they were trying to generate magnetic fields in excess of 1 million times standard gravity. They put a frog in it and the field was strong enough to lift the frog simply through the trace amounts of iron in the blood. What would that feel like? (it didn't "hurt" the frog, as far as they could tell).

chuck b. said...

Milk is a colloid.

LarsPorsena said...

Rare earths at work.

Mike said...

"Ferrofluids are being used in experimental cancer treatments called magnetic hyperthermia, and are the basis for a new breed of shape-shifting telescope lenses."

And in the future: Terminator T-1000. Beware!

Really cool picture, though.

Fred4Pres said...

That is neat.

It reminds me of candy making.

traditionalguy said...

What causes Gravity is still unknown . I wonder if magnetism will unlock its secrets someday. Something very powerful keeps this universe in order.

EDH said...

a small drop of ferrofluid is placed within a magnetic field created by a neodymium iron-boron rare-earth magnet.

A "money shot," for nerds?

Brian said...

@ScottM:
I think the frog was levitated not by the iron in the blood, but by the fact that water is dia-magnetic. Since the frog's body is mostly water (like us) the extremely strong magnetic field is able to overcome gravity and lift the water in the frog's body.

TJ said...

@Scott M -

I am a grad student at an institute where some of this magnetic levitation work has taken place. Diamagnetic materials (which is a property that many things have, including water) are repelled from regions with high magnetic field. In the levitation experiments, the researchers use a suitable arrangement of very strong magnets such that there is a region in space that is surrounded by areas with much higher fields. This is referred to as a magnetic trap, and diamagnetic chunks of stuff (i.e. a frog) will experience forces that will keep them in the trap. Water is a diamagnetic substance, which is why this technique can be used to levitate frogs, among other wet things.

The magnetic fields required, as you pointed out, are quite large. This pretty much relegates this technique to the laboratory.

I believe the frogs in the experiments lived long and happy lives after the experiment.

In the Xmen movies there was that fellow who could suck the iron out of peoples blood. That is not what was happening to these frogs, who, I must stress, were treated very well.

Naked Surfer said...

TJ, cool comments. I think you mean Magneto, in X-Men.

Could Magneto win a competition, say against 4.5 trillion electron volts, sucking out the blood of whatever blew the magnets at CERN?

I don’t know this of course, but it just seems like there’s a place where magnetism goes dark or is statistical after all.

I remember seeing pics of fractal patterns of frozen helium, not a colloid, but would be a cooler competition for Magneto.

chickelit said...

Is that structure static or constantly shifting?

tim maguire said...

Who thinks of this stuff?

"Hey, I got some ferrofluid and I hear Holmes in Georges' lab has a neodymium rare-earth magnet. Think he'll let me put a drop in?"

"No, but Sherryl on the second floor has a neodymium iron-boron rare earth magnet and I'm pretty sure she will!"

edutcher said...

I hope these guys have a sex life at some point. That they can do stuff like this is very impressive, but there is more to life than photographic effects created by placing a small drop of ferrofluid within a magnetic field created by a neodymium iron-boron rare-earth magnet.

peter hoh said...

If you'd like to experiment with ferrofluid, check out the Strange Matter science exhibit, currently in Cleveland and Sudbury.

We saw the exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota a few years ago. Quite a memorable show.

peter hoh said...

Here's a nice ferrofluid meets meatgrinder screw video.

Fun starts at 1:38.

c3 said...

Rare Earth at work.

LarsPorsena said...

@ Peter Hoh:

Thanks for the link.

c3 said...

Am I racist for liking "white boy" soul groups like Rare Earth?

c3 said...

If I am a racist for my musical preferences this "mixed" band probably provides some measure of penance.

c3 said...

I was NEVER hip

chickelit said...

Am I racist for liking "white boy" soul groups like Rare Earth?

Not.at.all! Rare Earth was just channeling Barack when they sang:

I put my faith in the people, but the people let me down. So I turn the other way and I carry on, anyhow. Laid my hand on a dollar bill, but the dollar bill blew away. But the sun is shining down on me and it's here to stay.

They were seers of visions, man!

c3 said...

Peter;
Liked the clip but the sound track wasn't hip

It was more 70's stoner, electronica, a la

autobahn

Never mix white boy soul and "head music" electronica. They are separate but equal

c3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
c3 said...

This is what can happen when you mix hip and German

Methadras said...

Hey, that's what chicken tastes like for me. That particular shape evoked a certain satisfaction.

Fen said...

Could Magneto win a competition, say against 4.5 trillion electron volts, sucking out the blood of whatever blew the magnets at CERN?

Easily. Mag's rocks.

He sandbags to make Scott look useful.