It is one of our particularly beautiful exhibits: The “Magical Magnetic Fluid”. By turning a wheel, visitors can move the magnets inside the installation and thus set the ferrofluid in motion.
Ferrofuid is a combination of oil, tiny iron oxide and surfactants, whereby surfactants bind oils and iron oxides. Ferrofluids are used, for example, to lubricate sensitive moving parts in machines that have to be used over a long period of time. Three forces create different forms of ferrofluid: the magnetic force created by the magnet, the surface tension of the oil, and the force of gravity that pulls the ferrofluid towards the earth.
Real ferrofluids neither accumulate in very strong magnetic fields, nor do they separate from one another as phases. Instead, under the influence of magnetic force, wonderful and absolutely unexpected shapes and figures are formed, which can be changed interactively.