Fractal Sculptures with Magnetic Ferrofluid
The combination of art and science can have mind-boggling results. Like Ferrofluid which becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field to an extent that it creates 3-dimensional fractal patterns and sculptures. (It is made by dissolving nanoscale ferromagnetic particles in a solvent such as water or oil.)
The liquid has such lovely visual qualities when magnetized, and a Japanese artist, Sachiko Kodama, took advantage of this property to create stunning artwork using ferrofluid and electromagnets. We recommend watching the video that shows bits of this fluid move in synchronization with sound and transform into organic fractal patterns.
The transformation of magnetic fluid is caused by the interaction with environmental sound. The sounds created by artists, and voices of spectators are caught by a microphone hanging from the ceiling, and then a computer converts the sound amplitude to the corresponding electromagnetic voltage which determines the strength of the magnetic field. This causes the magnetic fluid to change its three-dimensional patterns accordingly.
Each pattern appears synchronized to the environmental sound and the points of the shapes move correspondingly. As a result, magnetic fluid pulsates according to the sound.
Ferrofluids are even more flexible than iron sand.
Adding colour to the other wise dark fluid was photographer Fabian Oefner. In Millefiori, he mixed ferrofluid with water colors and put under a magnetic field, the iron particles in the solution start to rearrange, forming the black channels and separating the water colors from the ferrofluid. As you can see below, the reaction was beautiful.
The iron particles in the solution start to rearrange, forming the black channels and separating the water colors from the ferrofluid
Labyrinth-like colorful patterns emerged.
Labyrinth like patterns forming on the magnetized ferrofluid
The structures in these photos are only about the size of a thumbnail, but with photography it is possible to magnify such tiny structures or to freeze a moment lasting only in the blink of an eye.
Millefiori – Ferrofluid mixed with watercolours