I’ve been playing with my FEEL FLUX for weeks and its hit rate in the amazement department is 100%.
Each time you drop the metal ball through the copper tube you’d expect it to zip out the other end but instead, it lazily creeps from one end to the other and dribbles out into your waiting hand.
A “Silent Catch” is what happens when you toss the ball into the FF and it slowly glides down the sides without making contact with it. I have to say that it’s satisfying and magical every time I pull off the maneuver.
As the ball glides down the tube, the magnetic field changes inside the metal wall and when this happens, a bit of voltage is created. This reaction is not unlike a tiny, temporary battery and is called an electromotive force. The movement pattern of the voltage moves down with the ball and looks like this:
What could be simpler?
The tube’s material is an electrical conductor and drives current around in circles as the ball descends. The scientists at my laboratory tell me that when this happens, a second magnetic field is created that opposes the downward motion of the magnetic ball. The ball wants to fall through the tube at 9.8 meters per second but the field wants to halt it and of course, gravity wins in the end. And here’s the crazy part – the faster the initial downward motion, the more powerful the slowing force becomes.
When I throw the ball as hard as I can into the mouth of the tube, the ball doesn’t travel any faster than if I just dropped it in!
The image below shows an experiment in which a magnetic field is created by using a liquid battery. As more current from the battery is thrown through the copper coils, a magnetic flux occurs that’s not unlike my new toy.
While I don’t know where you can get an old timey liquid battery, I do know that you can get a brand new FF in machined copper here.
And the best thing of all is that the FF will look good next to pretty much anything in your office or laboratory.
Until very recently, I have pondered the answer to this question:
If I’m in an elevator on the 49th floor of my building and my arch nemesis snips the thread that suspends it, will I experience less of an impact if I jump in the air just before the elevator smashes into the bear-trap at the bottom of the shaft?
Adam Savage of Mythbusters says that according to the laws of physics, if my nemesis did his job correctly, that it’d be traveling at around 82 kilometers per hour by the time it hit the ground. Even if I could time my jump perfectly, it’d make only a sleight difference in impact speed and I’d still be a gnarled, bloody mess.
Ahh, but what if instead of riding in an elevator, I rode down a long copper tube while comfortably sitting in a Feel Flux magnetic ball? I think we all know the answer to that question. Cushy landing city.
But if you do find yourself in a “regular elevator” and things go awry, keep your wits about you and remember these lessons from my favorite Lonely Planet video:
Hopefully it’ll never come to that, but my physicist parents taught me that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Then again, they also taught me this questionable physicist joke:
Q: What did the male magnet say to the female magnet?
A: From your backside, I thought you were repulsive. However, after seeing you from the front, I find you rather attractive.
Please don’t let my parent’s horrible joke stop you from checking out one of the most amazing magnetic toys I’ve ever owned.