Working on 3D printing fluids, scientists from the University of Massachusetts accidentally discovered a completely unique phenomenon, the fact that drops of iron, oil, and water are capable of supporting a magnetic field. Now they plan to study the properties of this unique fluid in more detail.
They plan to start researching a liquid magnet to find out why drops, which contain billions of iron oxide nanoparticles, can support a magnetic field. They are also going to “program” drops into various shapes to create different tools.
Project manager Thomas Russell said that he can imagine how to use a new liquid to create a tiny copy of a liquid robot that can change shape, as the antagonist T-1000 in the cult blockbuster Terminator-2.
“Prior to our research, it was always assumed that permanent magnets could be made only from solids,” said Thomas Russell.
Further experiments showed that the drops of this unusual liquid held magnetic properties in almost any form – when divided into smaller ones (as thick as a human hair) when they took the form of a sphere, a cylinder, and even a tube.
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