Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ice and magnetism – a view through the microscope

Water is a diamagnetic material, which means, it is reacting in magnetic fields. This is a simple experiment to see how a magnetic field influences ice crystals during freezing; water was dropped on a microscope slide that was placed on neodymium magnets and frozen by -25°C. The photos are made with a cooled polarization microscope with the 10x objective and a 2,5x photo adapter. Under the microscope, the ice crystals show completely different habit than “normal” ice crystals. They are smaller, partly cubic or with an irregular shape.

ice under the microscope and in a magnetic field
Ice crystals under frozen ina magnetic field.


cubic ice under a microscope and in a magnetic field
Small cubic crystals formed near the magnetic pole.

irregular ice under a microscope and in a magnetic field
Irregular crystals formed in the magnetic field.

irregular ice under a microscope and in a magnetic field

ice crystals under the microscope
For comparison, these are ice crystals frozen without a magnetic field. 


2 comments:

  1. Wow, these photos are stunning. Never realised how beautiful ice crystals could be under a microscope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How beautiful ... each are unique, and all are art!

    ReplyDelete

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