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The Magic of Magnetic Liquids


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This lecture seeks to explain how magnetic liquids can be made, show how they behave in different magnetic conditions (with demonstrations!) and describe some of the applications.

Date and Time

18 April 2013 - 18:30-20:00


NORTHALLERTON, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Jointly organised by the Yorkshire North and Teesside local networks.

About this event

Everybody knows that there are no magnetic liquids. Liquid mercury is a metal but it is not magnetic. This lecture seeks to explain why this is the case and to show how liquids can be made magnetic and what happens to them when they are.
The environment within a world where the material is magnetic is very different to that in our environment where materials are not magnetic. For example, in the magnetic world a non-magnetic material can be fooled into thinking it is magnetic. All these effects will be demonstrated in the lecture.
More seriously magnetic liquids have applications. You can use a magnetic field to move a magnetic liquid or to hold it fixed in one place. This leads to applications in vacuum seals but also in devices such as loudspeakers. Special mixed magnetic liquids can be made that will change from a liquid to a solid when a magnetic field is applied. This enables us to make controlled dampers and clutches which are now quite common in luxury cars. During the lecture you can stand on a magnetic liquid.
The lecture is hands-on and many experiments are passed around the audience and at the conclusion you are invited to come and play with my magnetic liquid toys.


Professor Kevin O'Grady and Ian Helliwell
(Department of Physics, University of York)



Registration and refreshments: 18:00

Lecture start: 18:30

Reasons to attend

This is a free, public lecture for anyone who is interested in technology. The lecture will be entertaining as well as informative and there will be a chance to try out some of the demonstration devices yourself.

Registration information

pre-registration preferred (to secure yourself a place and to allow us to plan for refreshments)


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