Communion Of Dreams

Friggin’ magnets, how do they work?*
September 25, 2010, 10:28 am
Filed under: Science, Sixty Symbols, Space, YouTube

So, this is the symbol for magnetic susceptibility: Magnetic Susceptibility

And the Sixty Symbols vid that goes along with it doesn’t actually explain how magnets work, but rather explores some of the fun things which can be done with magnetic fields. Specifically, magnetic levitation. And they do this in a way near and dear to my heart – by levitating a drop of beer. Yay!

OK, it’s silly. And the vid isn’t just levitating a drop of beer. Rather, it is just a demonstration of why scientists might want to levitate something: to simulate the effects of weightlessness when you don’t happen to have a space station handy. Understanding how materials and organisms behave in the absence of gravity actually is important. And besides, even astronauts deserve a beer now and then.

Jim Downey

*Yeah, OK, it was a pop culture reference.

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: