Google Cardboard

cardboard and phone_featured

Google, the name synonymous with cutting-edge technology, introduces a new exciting platform, Google Cardboard. No, the Internet gurus at the Googolplex have not decided to diversify into origami, in fact they have developed a device that can be made out of cardboard (and a couple of magnets) that makes virtual reality affordable and accessible for anyone with a smartphone. In this article, we take a look at what all the fuss is about.

Continue reading

What is a reed switch, and which magnets operate them?

Reed_switch_featured

A reed switch is an electromagnetic switch used to control the flow of electricity in a circuit. They are made from two or more ferrous reeds encased within a small glass tube-like envelope, which become magnetised and move together or separate when a magnetic field is moved towards the switch. The switch effectively works like a gate, or a bridge, in an electric circuit so when the two reeds are in contact, electricity can flow around the circuit operating a device. Unlike mechanical switches they do not require something or someone to physically flick them on or off, they are controlled completely by invisible magnetic fields! Continue reading

What are eddy currents and why do they make a magnet fall slowly through a copper pipe

Neodymium ring magnet on 15mm copper pipe

 

Magnets are fascinating – there are many things about magnets for which the only explanation seems to be magic! The best place to find out about magnet-related phenomena is of course here, on our blog – and YouTube. The most viewed videos showing super-strong magnets falling through copper pipes alone have amassed an incredible 8 million views and counting.

What you are seeing in these videos is of course a demonstration of eddy currents in action. Here we will explain what is going on.

Continue reading

How to magnetise a screwdriver

Featured_image_2

If you are trying to fix a screw in a hard to reach place or are working with small, fiddly screws a magnetised screwdriver can save you lots of time. Most new, high-end screwdrivers are supplied already magnetised, but sometimes they can lose their magnetism. There are a number of ways you can use magnets to remagnetise a screwdriver, or magnetise one that was never magnetised in the first place.

Continue reading