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
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.
The Earth behaves like one large magnet; we know this for certain because of the visible effects on a magnetic compass by the Earth’s magnetic field. In 1600 William Gilbert was the first physician to publish his findings on the Earth’s magnetic field and a hypothesis for its origin in his book titled de Magnete.
In our previous blog article we took a look at how a DC and an AC motor works and described how you can build your own basic DC motor. Even simpler than a basic DC motor, is a homopolar motor. First created in 1821, it really is the simplest example of a motor possible, and really easy to experiment with.
When we talk about magnetic levitation what we are referring to is an object suspended by magnetic pressure which counteracts the effects of gravity. It generates images of large futuristic objects hovering and travelling at high-speeds.
Neodymium magnets are the strongest in the world, that’s why they can be pricey. If you have an old hard drive (one you won’t ever need again), you can dismantle it to retrieve the neodymium magnets inside. Here I will give you a step-by-step guide for taking apart a computer hard drive.
The Earth produces its own magnetic field, which emanates from its magnetic inner iron core. On the Earth’s surface the magnetic field is extremely weak compared to the permanent magnets used in many every day appliances. At the magnetic poles the Earth’s magnetic field is approximately 0.7 Gauss compared to the Gauss value of a relatively small 10mm diameter x 5mm thick N42 neodymium magnet which can reach 5100 Gauss.
It is this magnetic field that makes a compass point north but for many species, the Earth’s magnetic field has a much more profound role…
Ordinarily, heat and electronics aren’t the best of companions; even less unsuited partners are heat and some magnetic materials!
However, a new technology being developed by Seagate for the next generation of storage devices, known as ‘heat-assisted magnetic recording’ is breaking the convention. The technology is heralded as revolutionary and could significantly increase the amount of data that can be stored on a hard drive by increasing storage density.
Yesterday, Tuesday 8 October 2013. English Professor Peter Higgs and his Belgian colleague François Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work that proposed the mechanism that explains how the most basic building blocks of the universe have mass. The Higgs Boson theory.
Hi there. You may have guessed it, but I love magnets. I also love discovering awesome videos about magnets and luckily the web is full of magnet and physics videos. Here I highlight five of my favourites.