Is this your idea of a magnet? Can you imagine a magnet in the liquid state? How do you think a liquid magnet would behave if you brought it near a horseshoe magnet like the one above?
Amazing but True!
- Believe it or not, liquid magnets actually do exist. They are called ferrofluids. They are a mixture of a liquid such as water and extremely small particles of a magnetic material.
- Because they can be controlled by a magnetic field, ferrofluids have many real-world applications. Can you predict what some of their uses might be?
- Ferrofluids have unusual behaviors when placed in a magnetic field. Watch this amazing video to see what a ferrofluid does when attracted by a magnet:
Learn more about ferrofluids at the links below. Then answer the questions that follow.
- What is the composition of a ferrofluid?
- Describe the magnetic particles in a ferrofluid.
- Why don’t the opposite magnetic poles of the particles in a ferrofluid attract each other and clump together?
- What happens to the state of a ferrofluid when it is exposed to a magnetic field?
- Ferrofluids are used in machines between moving parts to keep them lubricated. What is their advantage over ordinary lubricants?
- What are two other uses of ferrofluids?