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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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The seven magnetic precepts

3 minutes

What makes a magnet? A balletic, visual exploration of electromagnetic force

Magnets are everywhere and their basic attracting and repelling properties are pretty familiar. They secure postcards and photos to our refrigerators. They’re in the compasses we used before we had GPS. A bit more removed from the quotidian, they underly the workings of high-speed Maglev trains and will likely play a part in the much-vaunted but not yet realised Hyperloop. But what exactly makes something magnetic? This video collaboration between the University of Paris-Sud’s Laboratory of Solid State Physics and École Estienne is a quick, quirky look at the hidden and fascinating physics of magnetism.

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau