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Spheres in a circle

An entertaining chain reaction with magnets and steel spheres
Author: Zeno Benci, Switzerland, [email protected]
Online since: 20/09/2010, Number of visits: 39736
I conducted an intriguing experiment that I very much want to share with you.

Required materialsl:

  • a large bowl made of non-magnetic material
  • a shallow plate
  • 6 magnetic spheres type K-10-C
  • 13 steel spheres type ST-K-13-N
One small sphere magnet holds two steel spheres
One small sphere magnet holds two steel spheres

Method:

  1. Invert the plate and place it inside the bowl.
  2. Stick two steel spheres each to one sphere magnet (see picture).
  3. Arrange six of these trios evenly around the plate. The magnets must always point in the same direction.
  4. Let the last remaining steel sphere snap onto one of the sphere magnets from the right.
  5. Marvel at the chain reaction! (see video below)
The sphere magnet is always to the right of the two steel spheres
The sphere magnet is always to the right of the two steel spheres
Note from the supermagnete team: The Gauss pistol is a similar experiment.