It may look like a simple black blob, but an oil drop is in fact a phenomenally complex mix of immense (relatively speaking) molecules called hydrocarbons. Using a type of mass spectrometry called FT-ICR (in which the MagLab is a world leader), scientists can analyze oil and other macromolecules with amazing precision, uncovering important secrets in the process.

This model train demonstrates magnetic levitation, the Meissner Effect and magnetic flux trapping.

Compasses are actually very simple. If you ever forget which way is north, follow these steps to make one yourself.

Iron is found in magnet, steel beams – and in our food! It tastes better in cashews than in bar magnets!

A MagLab physicist and engineer pair up to demonstrate the lab's famous Quarter Shrinking Machine, a loud, stinky illustration of electrodynamics, circuits, Lenz’s Law and Lorenz forces.

What's behind these cool purple sparks? Neat science about resonance and transformers.


A charged particle moving through a magnetic field experiences a force that is at right angles to both the direction in which the particle is moving and the direction of the applied field. This force, known as the Lorentz force, develops due to the interaction of the applied magnetic field and the magnetic field generated by the particle in motion.

To learn more, watch the video below or scroll lower on the page to try an interactive tutorial covering the same material.

Color, connect the dots and word-search to learn about magnets in this cool activity book available both in English and in Spanish.

Magnetic fields are invisibile, but with this activity you can – abracadabra – make the field lines appear!

This iron-packed substance has a dual personality; one second it's a liquid, the next it's a solid. Mix up a batch at home and see how this unique stuff works.

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