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Sep 30, 2022

This New Liquid Is Magnetic, and Mesmerizing

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Circa 2019


Lodestone, a naturally-occurring iron oxide, was the first persistently magnetic material known to humans. The Han Chinese used it for divining boards 2,200 years ago; ancient Greeks puzzled over why iron was attracted to it; and, Arab merchants placed it in bowls of water to watch the magnet point the way to Mecca. In modern times, scientists have used magnets to read and record data on hard drives and form detailed images of bones, cells and even atoms.

Throughout this history, one thing has remained constant: Our magnets have been made from solid materials. But what if scientists could make magnetic devices out of liquids?

In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers managed to do exactly that.

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