Ferromagnetic + fluid = ferrofluid, a liquid containing nanoscale particles of magnetite, hematite, or an iron compound. Invented by NASA’s Steve Papell in 1963, ferrofluid forms undulating spikes and patterns as it reacts to nearby magnetic fields.
Glow sticks are a chemiluminescent reaction captured in plastic tubes. Combine ferrofluid with glow stick liquid and you get color-filled landscapes of black ooze. Physics Girl Dianna Cowern demonstrates and explains.Watch more Physics Girl videos on this site, plus this ferrofluid clock prototype.