Christmas is fast approaching and it’s the time of year when we risk life and limb to retrieve the old Christmas decorations from the back of the shed or that store cupboard that nobody ever seems to go in from January to November. While we can’t help you untangle the entwined mass of tinsel or figure out why the perfectly functioning lights of last year won’t now work, we can help make putting up your decorations much easier.
At first4magnets, we recently got hold of some super slow motion cameras. Naturally. after having fun using them to film large neodymium magnets squashing things in 2000 frames per second, we thought it would be interesting to shoot a permanent magnet Gauss rifle in slow motion and explain how one works…
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.
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.
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.
Magnets and medical research have a long and interconnected history. Life-saving diagnosis is made possible by MRI scanners that rely on the power of magnets, magnetic technology has a vital role in some of the most pioneering medical research and many believe in the opinion-splitting therapeutic benefits of magnets. This post will look at all three areas.
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.
By understanding how an electric motor works you can learn a lot about magnetism and its relationship with electricity, and what better way to learn how a motor works than by building your own basic motor. But first, a little about the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism.