Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Very Hungry Silly Putty Blob
This may look alive, but it's just magnets. The cube is a super-strong neodynium magnet and the gray stuff is Silly Putty mixed with iron filings. The magnet pulls the Putty around it, although it looks like the other way around. We ascribe agency to fluid motion I suppose, which is normally a reasonable assumption.
Proteins also come together because of electromagnetic interactions on a much smaller scale, so in that sense it's not an exaggeration to say life depends on magnets. Only in cases like this where you can actually see it is all.