Kinetic Sculpture Manipulates Rare Earth Magnets

Dave Johnson’s magnet machine has a lot of fascinating details:

This machine manipulates small spherical rare earth magnets. slicing one at a time from the end of a long chain, moving it around a bit, then dropping it back to re-connect at the tail end of the chain.

It also demonstrates a little snippet of science called eddy currents. Watch how slowly the magnet falls through the aluminum tube compared to falling through air: the falling magnet generates an electrical current in the tube, and that current in turn generates a magnetic field that opposes the movement of the magnet, slowing it down dramatically. See if you want more.

[Via Dug North’s The Automata Blog]