Have you ever heard of a liquid called ferrofluid? The term ferrofluid is of Latin origin. In Latin, ferro means magnet. Ferrofluid is a liquid that has very small pieces of a magnetic substance. This fluid can transform into a powerful magnet. How is this possible? When we think of magnets, we usually think of solid metal objects. Ferrofluid is filled with very small iron particles. Solid magnets are also made of iron particles. Just because ferrofluid is a liquid does not mean it is a less powerful magnet. The pieces of metal in the ferrofluid are so small that the ferrofluid can stay in a liquid state as it is exposed to the magnet field – allowing it to make interesting shapes.
My advisor, Prof. Cory Einbinder, first introduced me to ferrofluid. I was mesmerized when I first watched a couple of videos on YouTube. The idea for this project is to have a liquid pet that follows around while waving your hand on top of a tank. For my culmination project, I plan to work with ferrofluid that will be displayed in a glass-like tank and controlled by a participant’s hand motion. Ferrofluid is a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. It is well known that when a magnet is introduced to ferrofluid, the fluid forms spikes along magnetic field lines. I have never worked with ferrofluid before, so this will be very challenging for me. I will be experimenting with its characteristics and transform it into an art display.