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Magnetic Sculpture

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You can gather your own parts for this project or use the kit (shown below) from Make magazine. You'll also need: The ancient people of Monte Alto were perhaps seeking out these basalt boulders that had these magnetic properties,” Paris says, adding that they could have also been effectively using a type of primitive compass in their searches.

Knowledge of magnetism could have even predated the Monte Alto culture, Chinchilla says. Archaeologists discovered a magnetized bar rich in hematite dating from 1400 B.C. to 1000 B.C. at San Lorenzo in the present-day Mexican state of Veracruz, one of the major cities of the Olmec. If this bar was somehow used as a magnetic tool, it would mean that Mesoamerican knowledge of magnetic forces predates even the early descriptions by Thales of Miletus. The people of Monte Alto carved large stone heads in addition to potbellied sculptures, many of which are strongly magnetized, suggesting the 2,000-year-old culture was aware of magnetism. At least some of the stones used to craft sculptures were hit by lightning at some point in the past, magnetizing the material, according to the research conducted on 11 basalt figures. Moreover, the potbellied sculptures were carved in such a way that protruding features had the strongest magnetic forces, suggesting the artisans knew which parts of the material were most magnetic.A fascinating and intriguing object that is ideal for the home or office and is sure to amaze friends and colleagues.

He's been there since the mid-1980s and in 1993 he created a research centre for the arts and the sciences called the KETE Foundation, and is now known as the Takis Foundation. If you're starting with the kit skip to the next step, otherwise, read on for help getting your parts together. You'll need:

Fluidic by WHITEvoid Design

Ceramic magnets can chip. When they chip a sharp shard may break off. Again, adult supervision of this activity is recommended. If a magnets chips or breaks remove it from the play. The initial tests showed that 10 of the 11 sculptures had “significant magnetic anomalies,” and seven of them had “strong” anomalies. The team found that the navel area of four potbellied sculptures displayed the most magnetism, and all three of the colossal head sculptures had strong magnetic anomalies around their right temples and cheek areas. Designed and made in the US these use the little known Bismuth which happens to be the most diamagnetic element. That means it repels both north and south poles. With a magnet at the top of the structure which provides the lift you are able to place a small magnet in either gap and watch as it floats, given stability by the diamagnetic property of the Bismuth (only one magnet can be placed in the sculpture at a time, either in the top or bottom hole).

Keeping a firm grip on the cube magnet, determine which end is attracted to the disc magnet. Thread the line through so that the head of the clevis pin will be on that end of the cube. Chinchilla’s coauthor Roger Fu from Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences tested the sculptures by first running a magnetometer over them and mapping out the areas with the strongest anomalies. Then the team chose four sculptures and ran further tests using a larger, more sensitive instrument. The people of Monte Alto lived in large communities and built pyramids and other structures—the largest reaching about 65 feet tall. Temples and compounds for the elite class dominated the city near the Pacific coast, while the community subsisted on crops from surrounding agriculture.This project uses some serious magnets, and with that comes serious potential for damage and injury. Here's the obligatory lecture to help you avoid trouble... Takis's studio, he began developing it in the 1960s or the early 1970s and it wasn't completed until much later. The people of Monte Alto didn’t live in isolation. Though Chinchilla says the sculptures at Monte Alto are the “most impressive,” several potbellied sculptures were found distributed around the coastal region of what is today Guatemala, El Salvador and the Mexican state of Chiapas, suggesting the Monte Alto influenced other cultures in the region.

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