Hello everyone!

I was hanging around the house today with my 4.5 year old son, and we were playing with some magnets. My son loves to play with magnets, and he is quite good at explaining what is happening for his age. I gave him a 3/8" NIB magnet, (Neodymium-Iron-Boron)  which is quite powerful, and a jar with magnetite and water. When Magnetite is in water a strong magnet can create some fascinating magnetic field structures. when more than one magnet is employed it can get really fun. My son loves to talk like a scientist, he will explain things as if he is lecturing at a university. LOL When he said the shape of the earth is like the display I was happy to hear that, because indeed the earth's magnetic field is similar to a large cylinder magnetic filed.
Other than a jar of magnetite I also have a dry viewer for him made with Plexiglas and magnetite. Magnetite can be extracted from magnetic paints sold as a specialty paint for walls. Just rinse the latex paint over and over again and use a big NIB to hold the magnetite in the jar. This material is very fine, and makes great viewers. Ferrofluid is another fun magnetic material, this liquid will mimic the fields and is quite amazing. also popular is the levitating pyrolytic graphite trick, a very diamagnetic material. will float over certain fields. Bismuth is a diamagnetic material and makes East-West compasses, if configured correctly.
Four elements are magnetic! Iron is well known, but also, pure Cobalt, Nickel and Gadolinium. interestingly 3 of these are close together on the periodic table. I am waiting for a small order of true natural magnetite crystals, in the natural 8 sided forms. they form like fluorite cleavage, and will be a nice addition to my collection.
well, that's my thought for today!
thanks for stopping by!