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Magnets and Machines

Moving things without touching them.  How cool is that.  Do you remember your first magnet?  Mine was a horseshoe magnet.  The ends were bare metal and the horse shoe handle was bright red.  It came with a little metal rod which you could pick up by holding the horse shoe close to it.  Not only that, some pieces of metal would jump away!

Back to the library and the physics books.  Dipoles and monopoles start making sense and material characteristics begin to become second nature.  Flipping pages from cover to cover, a picture of this universe starts unfolding to me.  Of particular interest are simple machines.  Ramps, levers, wedges, pulleys all seem to have something in common but what?  The arrows in the book hint at forces and I’m soon building things with what ever is convenient to see and experience forces.  But wait, that magnet has force.  How does that work.

Soon I’m back to magnetism and uncovering the art of making magets.  Did you know you could magnetize a metal rod by wacking it against another maget while the rod is aligned in a certain directions.  Not only that, the real magic was whacking that rod at  an angle on the ground and making it magnetic.  We live on one big magnet.  Soon my investigations lead me to electro-magnets and electricity.

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