Category

Physics

25/06/2015
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How to make a Gauss rifle

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…

01/08/2014
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What is a reed switch, and which magnets operate them?

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... Read More

04/04/2014
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What are eddy currents and why do they make a magnet fall slowly through a 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.

10/12/2013
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What is a homopolar motor and how does one work?

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.

10/11/2013

Magnetic levitation

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.

09/10/2013

Nobel recognition for Higgs Boson Professors

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.