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Attraction and Repulsion: The Magic of Magnets

This Freshman Advising Seminar surveys the many applications of magnets and magnetism. To the Chinese and Greeks of ancient times, the attractive and repulsive forces between magnets must have seemed magical indeed. Through the ages, miraculous curative powers have been attributed to magnets, and magnets have been used by illusionists to produce "magical" effects. Magnets guided ships in the Age of Exploration and generated the electrical industry in the 19th century. Today they store informa...

Start Date: Sep 01, 2005 Topics: Medicine, General History
Cost: Free

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Overview

Description

This Freshman Advising Seminar surveys the many applications of magnets and magnetism. To the Chinese and Greeks of ancient times, the attractive and repulsive forces between magnets must have seemed magical indeed. Through the ages, miraculous curative powers have been attributed to magnets, and magnets have been used by illusionists to produce "magical" effects. Magnets guided ships in the Age of Exploration and generated the electrical industry in the 19th century. Today they store information and entertainment on disks and tapes, and produce sound in speakers, images on TV screens, rotation in motors, and levitation in high-speed trains. Students visit various MIT projects related to magnets (including superconducting electromagnets) and read about and discuss the history, legends, pseudoscience, science, and technology of types of magnets, including applications in medicine. Several short written reports and at least one oral presentation will be required of each participant.

Details

  • Dates: Sep 01, 2005 to Dec 20, 2005
  • Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Level of Difficulty: All Levels
  • Size: Massive Open Online Course
  • Instructor: Dr. James Livingston
  • Cost: Free
  • Institution: MIT OCW
  • Topics: Medicine, General History

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About MIT OCW: MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

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