Introduction: How to Make a Magnetic Field Viewer

WARNING: Magnets can be dangerous, for everyone’s safety, keep them away from small children and do not swallow.

Everything used here is safe, you shouldn’t need to worry about reusability of the materials.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

1. Iron fillings (Amazon)

2. Flat clear liquid tight bottle (like this one, Amazon)

3. At least one Neodymium magnet (Amazon)

4. Mineral oil

5. Funnel

6. Towel or newspaper to cover your workspace

7 (Optional) Gloves

Note: keep the iron fillings away from the magnets or you might not be able to get them apart.

Step 2: Prepare an Area

Place something under your workspace in case there are any spills.

Step 3: (Optional) Wear Gloves

This is not necessary, however, it will keep your hands clean!

Step 4: Empty the Bottle

Start with an empty and dry container.

Step 5: Add Iron Fillings

Carefully pour a little iron fillings into the bottle using the funnel.

You do not need to add very much, barely coat the bottom of the bottle. Adding too much will make the final product difficult to see.

Step 6: Add Oil

Carefully pour the oil into the bottle using the funnel until the bottle is full.

Make sure it is full all the way to the top, otherwise there will be large air bubbles that make it hard to see.

If the mineral oil container you have is very large, it could help to first pour some oil into a smaller container.

Step 7: Screw on Lid

Make sure the lid is sealed tightly, you don’t want anything to spill.

Step 8: Shake

Carefully shake the bottle to make sure the iron fillings are not stuck to the bottom.

Note: The fillings will settle very quickly after putting the bottle down, this is ok.

Step 9: Position Magnets

Use one hand to hold the bottle flat and your other hand to hold the magnet underneath. Slowly move your magnet hand up until you see the effects of the magnet on the iron fillings.

Step 10: Enjoy!

Try all kinds of different combinations, you can even use more magnets if you have them.

Step 11: Clean Up

Dispose or store any leftover materials. Nothing is dangerous, everything can be placed in a trash can or dumped down the drain.