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Magnetic Money

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It's true, money is magnetic! You'll need to get your hands on a super strong neodymium magnet to uncover an amazing secret.

Materials
  • Super Strong Neodymium Magnet
  • Dollar bill

Videos

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Print Experiment

Experiment

Believe it or not, dollar bills are printed with magnetic inks as a way to reduce counterfeiting. Fold the dollar bill in half as shown and hold the neodymium magnet near the bottom of the bill. Notice how the bottom of the bill moves when the iron in the bill is attracted to the magnet. Bob Becker, a teacher in Kirkwood, Missouri, takes the experiment one step further by turning a dollar bill into soup in a blender. That’s right, he blends a dollar bill with about 200 mL (1 cup) of water. The magnet is held on the outside of the blender while the slurry is whirling around. The blender is stopped and the magnet is slowly pulled away from the blender to reveal the spot of iron. Be sure to perform the experiment with a borrowed bill! Just remind the lender that you’re increasing his “liquid assets” or that you’ve found a way to increase her “cash flow” problems. Yes, Bob Becker is a funny guy... or at least that’s what his attorney says.

If you are interested in this activity, see Money in a Blender.

How Does It Work?

Neodymium magnets (Nd-Fe-B) are composed of neodymium, iron, boron, and a few transition metals making them some of the strongest magnets in the world. Magnets of all types create a magnetic field, with both north and south poles. The magnetic field created by the neodymium magnets is so strong, it will line up to match the magnetic north and south of the earth. It makes a great compass!

Stick one in your pocket and accidentally walk by the refrigerator, and your family will find you stuck to the door! Just one of these magnets will hold 25 of our catalogs to a steel filing cabinet (the things we do when we’re bored!).

On a more serious note, the large magnets are so strong that they may even be dangerous if not handled properly. A pair of these magnets will leap into a deadly embrace from over 6 inches apart and may knock chips off themselves from the force of the impact. You'll be amazed at the super strength of the magnets, but we must warn you to be careful. Any type of magnetic media will be history in the presence of one of these large neodymium magnets.

Additional Info

Learn more about the power of attraction with amazing science kits and magnets.

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