There are countless videos on the Internet that claim to demonstrate machines that can generate their own energy and operate in perpetuity. Don’t believe the hype. In this video from The Action Lab, he shows off one such trick, which uses hidden electromagnets to make a sphere look like it’s spinning on its own.
Take a trip into space with this levitating planet lamp from Levitos. The illuminated planet floats and spins about 0.75″ above its base using electromagnetic induction technology and casts a colorful glow from inside of its orb. The planet and base measure about 5.25″ wide.
These pentagonal playthings have neodymium magnets embedded along their edges so you can snap them together into variety of shapes, including a dodecahedron. Each set comes with 12 pentagons, and the more kits you buy, the more complex the objects can get. Available in five colors.
Magnet fanatic Magnetic Games got their hands on 64 oversize 26mm (~1.02″) neodymium spheres. These giant-sized balls are much harder to work with (and more dangerous) than their smaller brethren, but they do look like fun. They’re not cheap, but you can buy some here.
Drop a marble into the top of this tabletop sculpture, and it rolls down a ramp and back into itself endlessly. While it might appear to defy the laws of physics, the trick is that its base contains a hidden battery and electromagnet that accelerates the steel sphere as it comes down the ramp.
Magnet Tricks created a few cool kinetic sculptures using small neodymium magnet spheres and rods. They start spinning using air blown through a straw, and some of the designs incorporate colorful rods to create a rainbow effect as they get up to speed. They look easy enough to replicate using Neobuildr parts.
Cooling yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) to -180°C creates a superconductor that levitates when placed in a magnetic field. Magnetic Games demonstrates the strange physics at play using powerful neodymium magnets for the supercooled puck to interact with. Turn captions on for more details.
LEGO enthusiast Dr. Engine shows off a Technic machine that demonstrates how magnets can transmit energy through walls. Each of its spinning blades can turn without connecting to a central drivetrain thanks to magnetic fields. A gear-drive mechanism places each section in its precise sweet spot.
Discovery UK digs into the How It’s Made archives for this look at the process that goes into creating magnets. After melting a cocktail of various metals in an electrical induction furnace, the fiery metal is poured into sand molds, then cooled, separated, and charged with multiple electromagnetic fields.
Sometimes, the best kind of lock is the kind that doesn’t look like a lock at all. B-Star Crafts shows off a simple, but effective method that keeps doors or drawers locked using hidden neodymium magnets. It’s a trick that’s frequently found in puzzle boxes but can be easily applied to furniture and cabinets as well.
The way that Venom comes to life from a pile of black ooze is awesomely creepy. JLaservideo wanted to replicate the effect in real life and figured out the best way to do it was to create a suit from 100,000 neodymium magnets and latex, then let ferrofluid do the rest of the work.
Electromagnets can be very powerful. They’ve even been used to get roller coasters and trains rolling and to launch fighter jets. Tom Stanton made a miniature system of homebrew linear synchronous motors which use electromagnetism to propel a small sled and launch various items including a hot dog and a paper airplane.
Ever been working on a repair or assembly project and dropped a screw into a spot where you can’t reach it? This unique tool is perfect for the recovery job, with its flexible telescoping head, a super-strong magnetic tip, and a built-in LED flashlight. Extends from 6.69″ to 21.65″.
Ever wonder how they get all the nails in a box to lay in the same direction? In this all-too-short and all-too-silent video clip, they show how a pile of randomly grabbed nails immediately point in the proper direction when dropped between a pair of electromagnets. Here’s another machine that does it without human intervention.
Magnetic fields can be pretty amazing. Given the right conditions, they can be turned into motors and even levitate. Magnetic Games shows off three different setups, each of which results in magnets floating and spinning with just a small boost of human or battery power.
STKR’s Magnetic Light Mines pack a dozen rare-earth magnets that allow you to easily position and aim their 15-lumen wide-angle LED in tight spaces. They also double as a pickup tool for screws and nails. The 3-pack is the best deal, dropping the price to less than $7 a piece. They also make a 250-lumen Light Mine Pro.
Aerospace engineer Tom Stanton has a thing for flywheels. Here, he first shows us how to build a flywheel that spins smoothly thanks to magnetic levitation, then how that spinning action can be used to generate a small amount of electricity and capture it via copper induction coils.
Magnetic Games presents yet another wonderfully satisfying video, in which he uses hundreds of magnetic rods and spheres to create an complicated geometric sculpture. He placed a light at the center of his masterpiece, so it casts interesting shadows as well. After it’s all done, he knocks it down with a catapult.
Mechanical gears can change the speed or force by using different sizes and spacing of their teeth. But we had no idea that a similar result could be achieved by spinning discs embedded with different quantities and sizes of magnets. Magnetic Games shows off this surprising behavior in this neat physics demonstration.
With the help of the guys at the Magnet Tricks channel, Magnetic Games shows off a neat effect that occurs when placing tiny magnets between a block of pyrolytic graphite and a strong magnet aimed at them from at a distance. These mini magnets spin, dance, and shuffle about, and can even levitate off of the surface.
A while back, YouTuber Mr. Michal showed off a simple railway he built from coils of wire, batteries, and magnets. Now, he’s back with a much longer and more complex train set that still operates on the same electromagnetic principles. This time, the track measures in at over 20 meters long, or about 66 feet.
Fishbone’s metal gadget is designed for knotless joining and tying of ropes and straps. It holds up to 0.5″ rope or 1″ flat webbing, and has built-in neodymium magnets for stacking and storage. Available in stainless steel or lightweight aluminum. They also make a mini version for 0.25″ or smaller rope or paracord.