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This is not an animation: the spectacular sight of magnets meeting a metallic liquid

For the ABC Science series Phenomena, the Australian artist and filmmaker Josef Gatti collaborated with the Australian composer Kim Moyes for an amalgamation of art and science exploring ‘naturally occurring patterns, and the fundamental forces of nature that create them’. In this entry exploring magnetism, the filmmaking team experiments with ferrofluid, a metallic liquid invented by NASA, by harnessing its responses to magnetic force to draw out spectacular three-dimensional patterns. Captured with powerful cameras, the ferrofluid seems to defy gravity, looking as if it must be a creation of CGI. It’s exquisite eye-candy, to be sure, but also reveals an oft-hidden force that is still mysterious to scientists, even as we harness its power to make the modern world possible.

Video by ABC Science

Director: Josef Gatti

Producer: Rob Innes

Composer: Kim Moyes

31 March 2022

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