5H10.31 - Ferromagnetic Fluids

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Ferromagnetic Fluids
Magnetic Forces & Field Lines
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Magnets assorted, EFH1 Ferrofluid, Ferrofluid Preform Cell.

Bring a magnet close to the preform cell and watch the fluid line up with the field lines.

Pour a small amount of the EFH1 fluid into a watch glass and bring a magnet close to the underside of the glass.  Depending upon the type of magnet different field line configurations can be shown.

Sandwich a plastic petri dish between the magnet and the bolt head.  Screw the nut on the bolt so that a quarter inch of the bolt end protrudes above the nut.  With a pipette add ferrofluid to the top of the bolt and the nut until the desired magnetic field pattern is produced.

  • Bruce J. Ackerson, Anitra N. Novy, "Forces in Complex Fluids", AJP, Vol. 69, # 5, p. 614, May 2001.
  • Daniel J. Klingenberg,  "Making Fluids into Solids with Magnets",  The Amateur Scientist, 8/1/01.
  • James E. Martin, Kyle J Solis, "Mesmerizing Magnetic Fields", Physics Today, Aug. 2015, p. 66.
  • J. V. I. Timonen et al., "A Model System for Dynamic Self-Assembly, Physics Today, August 2013, p. 68.
  • "Peaks and Labyrinths in a Magnetic Fluid", Physics Today, June 2008, p. 21.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, David Maiullo, "Let's See the Lines", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 290.
  • Arthur B. Ellis, Margret J. Geselbracht, Brian J. Johnson, George C. Lisensky, William R. Robinson,  "Ferrofluids",  Teaching General Chemistry - A Materials Science Companion,  p. 36.
  •  "Instruction Booklet & Experiment Guide", Ferrofluidics Corporation, 1999.
  • Lab 3: Observation of the Unusual Properties of Ferrofluids,"  California Institute of Technology-Department of Materials Science, MS 90, Spring '01.
  • Xubo Liu et al., "Reconfigurable Ferromagnetic Liquid Droplets", Science, Vol. 365, #6450, July 2019, p. 264-267.

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