Marvin and Milo
Explore physics the exciting way, by trying out a simple and fun experiment. This month, Magnetic Cereal Don't forget to check back next month for the next edition...
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What you need
Cereal fortified with iron
A pestle or spoon
Put some of the dry cereal in the bowl and crush it as small as possible with the pestle or spoon.
Put a magnet into the cereal and shake the bowl a little.
Lift the magnet out – some cereal should stick to it. If not, try stronger magnets or other cereal brands. It should work with brands where the iron is present as fine metal particles or ferric oxide, as these are magnetic.
Results & explanation
The attraction isn’t strong enough to lift large flakes, as each contains only a few magnetic particles. In crushed cereal the magnet just picks up pieces containing magnetic particles – in these each particle has less cereal to lift.
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