Anything in nature wants to have the lowest
energy possible. Any liquid has forces called
surface tension that tries to have lowest surface
energy by minimizing the surface area.
Ferro-fluid or liquid magnet have tiny
nanometer-sized (billionth of meter) magnets
suspended in a liquid. These magnets are
coated with substances that prevent them from
accumulating and forming a huge magnet by keeping
them apart. These tiny magnets have magnetic
energy, which again want to be the lowest at any
When a magnet is brought near, the tiny
magnets in the liquid align in a manner that
minimizes the magnetic energy by being far
apart (more spikiness), but the liquid wants to
minimize the surface energy by reducing the
spikiness. It is this competition and intricate
balance between the magnet and surface tension
that makes the ferro-fluid look like a porcupine,
but much more fun to play with!
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