May 12

Ring of magnets cool hand?

IMG_4237Phoenix and Maverick thought they sensed a cooling of their hands when placed within a ring of magnets, so they created an experiment to see if their impressions were accurate and what the pattern might be.  They hypothesized that the magnets could exert a pull on the iron in the blood of the hand, causing a cooling sensation.

They used “rattlesnake egg” magnets as a test and a glass bowl as a control. IMG_4239They measured the bowl and then used enough magnets to create the same diameter, 25. Then they used an IR thermometer to measure the bowl, the ring of magnets and the hand.  Ten times they placed a hand in the magnets and remeasured temperature. Ten times they placed a hand in the bowl and remeasured temperature.

IMG_4238Their results show no decrease in hand temperature in either magnets or bowl.  This does not rule out the sensation of cooling, which could also come from the magnets serving as heat sink if they are cooler than the ambient air. We might have continued this investigation in class, but time was running out to play with a Van de Graaf generator…

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