Dana Plesa Gallery
by Dana Plesa
Ferrofluid is a stable colloidal suspension of extremely small iron oxide particles in a carrier fluid (mineral oil in our case). It becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. NASA was the first to engineer it in order to experiment with fuel manipulation in space (1963).
When the ferrofluid is subjected to a strong vertical magnetic field the forms at the surface a regular pattern of peaks and valleys (effect known as normal field instability). When acrylic paint (aqueous solution) is added to the surface, the paint flows on top of the ferrofluid (phase separation opposite to water and oil). When the magnetic field is applied, the paint interferes with the regular patterns of the ferrofluid making beautiful shapes.