Awesome new activity from the Exploratorium Teacher Institute Project.
A piece of iron ordinarily will be attracted to a magnet, but when you heat the iron to a high enough temperature (called the Curie point), it loses its ability to be magnetized. Heat energy scrambles the iron atoms so they can’t line up and create a magnetic field—this Snack is a simple demonstration of this effect.
CAUTION: Electricity can really heat things up. The wires can get really hot when you’re doing this Snack. Be careful.
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