HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Goopy GIF: You Can't Look...

Sun Jan 14, 2018, 02:28 PM

Goopy GIF: You Can't Look Away from This Mesmerizing Experiment

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | January 13, 2018 08:42am ET

As a series of goopy platforms climb down a bolt in a mesmerizing GIF posted on Reddit, it almost looks as if Mario should hop from one to another.

But this isn't 1990's video-game graphics, it's real life. The GIF shows a demonstration of ferrofluid, a suspension of nanosize magnetic particles in oil. The magnetic particles are small and coated in a surfactant, which is a substance like soap that helps to keep the particles evenly distributed throughout the fluid, even when they're put next to a strong magnet, said Brandon Jackson, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University, who has studied applications for ferrofluids.

In the GIF posted on Reddit, and in many other similar demonstrations seen on YouTube, Twitter and GIPHY, a magnet under the bolt provides the magnetic field. The liquid aligns itself with the invisible lines of the magnetic field, resulting in the spiky look. Surface tension holds the liquid together. Meanwhile, gravity pulls the liquid down the screw, resulting in the downward motion of the "platforms." [See More Fun Chemical Reaction GIFs]

- click for image -


This spiky, black "thing" is actually a liquid - a ferrofluid.
Credit: Shutterstock

The shape "is a minimum-energy solution between the gravitational energy, the surface tension energy and the magnetic energy," meaning the substance chooses the route that demands the least amount of energy, Jackson told Live Science.


1 replies, 966 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Goopy GIF: You Can't Look Away from This Mesmerizing Experiment (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2018 OP
Victor_c3 Jan 2018 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 14, 2018, 05:47 PM

1. The article mentions some interesting spinoff technologies

The sorts of things scientists and engineers are on the verge of doing boggles my mind...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread