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These toys would be like lava lamps but would be cylinders
surrounded by electromagnets. Maybe regular coils
wrapping the lamps at intervals. Maybe these
electromagnets would be glass capillary tubes filled with
such that they were transparent, allowing view
of cylinder beneath.
The cylinder interior is full of water or maybe water with
polymer for added viscosity. Instead of molten wax there
are metal fluid suspensions. Most folks have seen
ferrofluids and can imagine how that would work: on
switching on the oily ferrofluid would be pulled thru the
water towards the interior of the electromagnet coil. The
coils turn on and off with varying strength and varying
patterns, causing the glob to move to and fro within the
cylinder. With some luck the coil activation sequence
could be made such that the fluid blob seems alive.
The other fluid for this is a nonmagnetic metal. We will
use gold because it would look so cool and the inductive
effects of magnets on a gold sovereign still sit at the head
table in my half baking lobe. I am less clear on how
magnets turning on and off will affect a conductive blob. I
like to think that maybe the blob will be hurled in a
direction contrary to its current motion. Maybe such a blob
could be pingponged between two coils? Is that so much to
I am not sure about the feasibility of the gold equivalent of
ferrofluid but the stuff should be makable and pretty even
if useless. The ferrofluid magnet lamp would work.
Maybe there are magnetic rare earth metals which have
colors other than black, for improved aesthetics.