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March 2nd 2012
Ferrofluids are liquids containing magnetized nanoparticles in suspension, which makes the liquid sensitive to magnetic fields. Magnetic forces combined with the surface tension of the liquid produce surprising effects.
There are now many videos on the internet showing the nice "spikes" that the liquid developps when a magnet is placed above or under it. See for instance this video.
The following video is more unusual. The ferrofluid lies in a shallow dish, together with a transparent liquid with which it cannot mix. Because the pool is shallow, it cannot develop spikes and rather display interesting wall structures, quite reminiscent of Turing patterns.
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