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Fun With Ferrofluid

In the video, you can see where I used a six inch Petri dish and a small amount of Ferrofluid to expose the magnetic field of a single V-gate on a circular track.

Many videos on YouTube show that you can accelerate and move a magnet along a series of V-gates. The next logical step seemed to be to mate the start and end points to create an endless track. This was not possible by hand, so I created the Template Designer to help me, and you, to create various track configurations to help study this phenomenon.

When I moved the Ferrofluid over the V-Gate, the curve in the gate created a symbol that reminded me of the Star Trek insignia, so for a short time I was calling it the Star Trek Magnetic Motor. It didn't take long before I realized the lawyers would be calling so I named it after myself. This too caused a challenge as a guy named Troy Reed had also done work on Magnetic Motors and that confused a lot of people into thinking I was related to him. I am not.

But I have done several experiments with Ferrofluid beyond that one exposing the Star Trek type pattern. Ferrofluid is a great way to visualize the magnetic patterns in a 3D way. Again, there are many videos on YouTube about Ferrofluid, watch them, they are amazing.

Ferrofluid is a great way to start thinking about magnets, to visualize the strange characteristics of magnetic fields. You can get it online and while it isn't free, the small quantities you need for experimentation make it pretty affordable. The insight is worth the price.