image credit: © Felice Frankel, from "Envisioning Science, the Design and Craft of the Science Image;" larger image
Physics becomes art in Felice Frankel's photo of a ferrofluid with permanent magnets underneath. In a ferrofluid, a region of approximately constant magnetic field produces a pattern of spikes.
A ferrofluid is a concentrated suspension of nanometer-sized magnetic particles. To learn more, see the Physics Central feature Ferrofluid Fun and also the videos at Ferrofluids.
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A Magnet That Drips: Making Ferrofluids
Ferrofluids like the ones pictured above are not difficult to make--you can prepare your own by following the instructions at A Magnet That Drips: Making Ferrofluids. Since the ferrofluid will be messy, make sure your work area is easy to clean. Also, be sure you have an adult working with you.