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Petri dish containing a steel screw in ferrofluid, on a powerful permanent magnet. A pipette drips ferrofluid onto the screw, showing how the magnetism imparted to the screw affects the movement of the fluid. As more ferrofluid is dripped onto the screw, it can be seen that there is a concentration of magnetic field density at its tip, as the ferrofluid is attracted there, and forms a spiky cap. Ferrofluid is a suspension of iron-rich nanoparticles in a carrier oil. In the presence of a magnetic field the iron particles become magnetised, attracting each other and following the shape of the magnetic field. This leads to the formation of spikes of liquid showing the magnetic field lines.
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