Magnets in the News

  1. A Brief History of Magnets: Degaussing Ships During World War II

    A Brief History of Magnets: Degaussing Ships During World War II
    If you’ve been following along with our blog for a while, you probably know that we enjoy reporting on magnet hacks, magnet experiments, magnets in the news, and even magnetic DIY projects. However, we’re also a team interested in the history of magnetism and the uses of magnets throughout the years! In this blog, let’s travel back in time to World War II. Continue reading →
  2. Why Magnetism in Certain Materials is Different in Atomically Thin Layers and Their Bulk Forms

    Why Magnetism in Certain Materials is Different in Atomically Thin Layers and Their Bulk Forms
    A group of researchers led by MIT Department of Physics Professor Pablo Jarillo-Herrero have built on two years of prior research to present us with new findings. Previous research led by researchers at the University of Washington showed that rotating layers of hexagonally-structured graphene at a particular “magic angle” could change the material’s electronic properties from an insulating state to a superconducting state. This time, Jarillo-Herro’s group went deep into 2-D magnets to find if magnetism in certain materials is different in atomically thin layers than in their bulk forms.  Continue reading →
  3. Four Uses of Magnets and Magnetism in Movies

    Four Uses of Magnets and Magnetism in Movies
    Whether you’re a dedicated film buff or a casual movie-watcher, you’ve likely experienced the tropes of magnetism in film. In fact, magnetism has been a recurring concept shown in pop culture, from superheroes and supervillains to Netflix originals. While some uses are a stretch or don’t quite add up in real life, it’s still fun to see the different ways that filmmakers have incorporated the thing we’re most passionate about! Here, you’ll find our roundup of four ways magnets and magnetism were used in movies.  Continue reading →
  4. Here’s What Happens When You Heat Paramagnets

    Here’s What Happens When You Heat Paramagnets
    Magnets are a crucial part of collecting energy from heat. When one side of a magnet is heated, the other, cooler side will become more magnetic, which produces spin --flux of magnetism -- and creates electricity. Once paramagnets are heated up, though, nothing happens. That is until an international team of researchers and scientists found a way to capture heat and transform it into electricity using paramagnets, something that wasn’t thought to be possible.  Continue reading →
  5. Magnetars are the Strongest Magnet in the Universe. Here’s Why.

    Magnetars are the Strongest Magnet in the Universe. Here’s Why.
    In 1947, the idea that some massive stars could have large-scale magnetic fields near their surface was established, but the origin of these fields has since remained a mystery. Today, it’s known that the strongest magnetic fields ever detected in the Universe come from magnetars, but we still aren’t sure where these magnetars come from or how they get their strong magnetic fields. Though, astrophysicists Sebastian Ohlmann from the Max Planck Society in Germany and Friedrich Röpke from the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies in Germany may have found out how magnetars form.  Continue reading →
  6. Sea Turtles Find Their Birthplace with Magnetic Fields

    Sea Turtles Find Their Birthplace with Magnetic Fields
    Previous studies have shown that sea turtles use Earth’s magnetic field to help guide them at sea, similar to how sailors use latitude and longitude. Loggerhead turtles, in particular, have been known to swim thousands of miles to lay their eggs on Florida’s Gulf, as well as Atlantic coasts. What’s interesting is that recent research has found that these nesting places are actually within about 40-50 miles of where the turtles were born decades earlier.  Continue reading →
  7. St. Jude Receives World's Largest Superconducting Magnet for Research

    St. Jude Receives World's Largest Superconducting Magnet for Research
    On September 5th, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, TN, received the largest superconducting magnet in the world. You may be asking, ”what would a hospital need a 10-ton magnet that’s a million times stronger than the earth’s magnetic field for?” Below, you’ll find your answer.  Continue reading →
  8. Robotic Gripper Uses Magnets to Absorb Shocks

    Robotic Gripper Uses Magnets to Absorb Shocks
    Grip firmness is an important trait of human hands—we have the capability to handle something delicate, such as an egg, but we’re also able to hold a baseball bat with enough strength to hit a baseball and send it flying. Scientists have now found a way to make a robotic hand share this same characteristic.   Continue reading →
  9. Laser Light Turns Metals into Magnets

    Laser Light Turns Metals into Magnets
    Normally, it’s possible for light to transform the properties of a material; however, these properties must exist to be manipulated. Physicists now believe they have found a way to use lasers to transform the properties of a material, creating new properties. Specifically, they have discovered a way to make non-magnetic materials magnetic.  Continue reading →
  10. Japanese Artist Yukako Hihara Designs Anti-Gravity Shoes

    Japanese Artist Yukako Hihara Designs Anti-Gravity Shoes
    Image pulled from Yukako Hihara's Instagram account.  Japenese artist and designer Yukako Hihara has designed a pair of “anti-gravity” shoes. The reason for this creation? Yukako explained, “I wanted to make the impossible, possible. When I was a kid, I dreamt of flying, like Peter Pan, walking on the clouds or even the moon.” Read more below on how repelling magnets are the key to Yukako’s design. Continue reading →

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