|32||Ferrofluid Lava Lamp
|Our project consists of creating a decoration similar in concept to a typical lava lamp, but using ferrofluid and magnetism instead of wax and heat. We would also like to allow the user a good degree of interactivity with the display.
The design is as follows:
A ferrofluid will first be mixed into a liquid of similar density. This will then be placed into a glass cylinder, at the top and bottom of which will be electromagnets. This will be used to control the upwards and downwards flow of the ferrofluid.
Our design will also have electromagnets that can be made to move vertically up and down the "lamp." We propose three separate magnets situated around the central cylinder in equal increments, each in its own separate, and smaller cylinder.
These can be made to pulsate, which we expect can be used to either split the liquid apart should it turn into a single ball (turning all 3 on simultaneously and briefly) or induce circular motion of the ferrofluid.
The plan is to allow the user to specify the speed at which the main electromagnets (ones on top and bottom) move the liquid up and down, as well as the movement and on/off operation of the three vertical magnets (interestingly, the user could have the 3 magnets do completely different things... the result of which we are yet unable to visualize).
To achieve the vertical movement of the three outer magnets, motors will be incorporated into our design.
As an aside, we realize that the three outer magnets can be used to achieve upwards and downwards movement. In this way, our design is somewhat redundant. However, we also want to allow the user the option to simply have the fluid drift upwards and downwards, without any horizontal interference.