Category Archives: Magnetism

One of the universal, fundamental forces, and a source of infinite fun for scientists of all ages.

Bending Beta Particles with Magnets

By George Dowell There are many different types of atomic and nuclear radiation. “Atomic” refers to the atom as a whole, but the commonly accepted definition of atomic reactions are those that originate in the electron shell area of the atom. “Nuclear” on the other hand is specific to the nucleus of an atom. Some radiation consists of particles of matter, betas and … Continue reading…

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Magnetic Fields and How to Measure Them

Figure 2. Circuit diagram for a simple magnetic field readout.

There aren’t a lot of fields in physics to study beyond gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Since the last two are essentially impossible for an amateur to study, that only leaves gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Electricity, Electronics, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Magnetism, Measurement, Physics, Sensors | Leave a comment

Living With Our Sun

I attended the first of four sessions of the University of Iowa alumni association senior college class called “Living With Our Sun: The Science of the Earth’s Place in the Solar System” last Tuesday. It is a 100 mile round trip drive to the university campus so I was hoping the class would be worth the trips. The class was held in Van … Continue reading…

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Passive Diamagnetic Levitation

Here we’ll discuss passive diamagnetic levitation briefly. We’ll describe the construction of a levitator where a pyrolytic graphite plate floats over a rare earth magnet array. Given benign ambient conditions, the graphite will float essentially for tens or even hundreds of millennia. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, Engineering, Invention, Machine Shop, Magnetism, Metal Working, Open Science, Physics | 4 Comments

Sun’s Magnetic Field is About to Flip

“It looks like we’re no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal,” says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. “This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system.” Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Astronomy, Breaking News, Climate, Electricity, Magnetism, Measurement, Meteorology, Observation, Space, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Voyager 1 About to Cross to Interstellar Space

This artist's concept shows NASA's two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known as the heliosheath, the outer shell of the bubble of charged particles around our sun. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Data from Voyager 1, now more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun, suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space. Continue reading…

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Faraday Disc Unipolar Motor Modification


When I’m between major projects, I try to improve existing ones. I’m not always successful, but sometimes I surprise myself. Don’t get your hopes up this time – this work was more successful at pointing the way towards more work. Funny how that happens. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, Electricity, Engineering, Machine Shop, Magnetism, Makers and Making, Metal Working, Projects | 3 Comments

NASA Probe Discovers New Radiation Belt


NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes, launched just last August, have revealed a previously unknown third radiation belt around Earth. Continue reading…

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CSL Provides Unprecedented Access to Scientific Literature

The Citizen Scientists League is providing access to thousands of scientific and academic journals and other publications. CSL is proud to be the first such organization to offer this kind of service. Continue reading…

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Annual High Energy Amateur Science Conference – 2012


This meeting was another annual High Energy Amateur Science (HEAS) Conference hosted by our group’s founder, Mr. Richard Hull. When our group was known as the “Tesla Coil Builders of Richmond (TCBOR) over 10 years ago, we called these gatherings “Teslathons.” Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Community, Conferences, CSL News, DIY, Electricity, Electronics, Invention, Magnetism, Physics | 5 Comments