Magnetic Exhibits: In-Person and Virtual
Being cooped up at home all day isn’t fun for anyone. Why not try to make the best of things, and find educational value while doing so? Together, we’ll explore two museums that are featuring magnetic exhibits for you to virtually visit, as well as even offering virtual and online resources to fill your time.
Nestled in San Francisco, CA, The Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory exploring the world through art, science, and human perception. Here are some of our favorites --
The Black Sand Exhibit highlights magnetite, a reoccurring iron oxide mineral found in most igneous and metamorphic rocks. The sand used is local as the exhibit is meant to mimic sand in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where granite containing iron ore breaks down into grains of black sand. The sand is later scattered through water systems where it typically ends up on beaches. The sand itself isn’t magnetic, but will become magnetized in the presence of a magnet. In this exhibit, the grains of sand pull toward the magnet, which amplifies the sand into spiked pillars -- think of the spikes on a porcupine!
Circles of Magnetism
This exhibit showcases electricity moving through a wire to mimic compass magnets. Compass magnets are utilized and typically respond or move based upon the Earth’s magnetic field. Using electric currents can create a force stronger than the Earth’s field, and ultimately makes the magnets change direction and create a new magnetic field.
In this exhibit, the magnets at hand transfer energy back and forth, making the pendulum swing. The pendulum swings in obscure ways because of the three magnets below the table that are oriented to repel the pendulum as it swings. Due to the arrangements of the magnets, the pendulum will always rest in different locations depending on where and how the pendulum started moving.
World of Wonder Science Museum
The World of Wonder Science Museum is catered to helping people navigate the world around us, and how that world works itself. Fun fact -- the museum features over 70+ exhibits! You can view their many exhibits, including the two we will cover specifically here.
Ferrofluid has iron particles within its makeup, making it magnetic! This exhibit allows you to move wheels to make the oil dance, visually showing the fluid’s magnetic properties
This exhibit features two magnets and how they repel each other so the object is suspended in air! Visitors of the museum are able to design a sail for a magnetic levitation boat and can race one another. Want to read more about magnetic levitation? Check out these previous Apex blog posts.
Craving More Magnetic Facts? Explore More With Apex Magnets!
These museums are perfect for those looking to pass the time, are trying to learn something new, or those that have children itching to learn right now. To keep updated with the latest in magnets and magnetism, be sure to follow our blog page for more posts like this!