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Make a magnetic rocket

By Carol Saab, 15 August 2013 Activity

What happens when your rocket fuel is magnetic force? Our latest video shows you how to make a rocket using super strong rare-earth magnets, skewers, ball bearings and blu-tack. Check it out in slow-mo and watch for something rather curious… when the magnets move down the track, momentum is added until the final ball flies off at a velocity much greater than the initial ball which starts the process.

explosion hazard iconSafety: Ask an adult to supervise this activity. Wear safety glasses when using these rare earth magnets. If they collide together hard enough, chips of magnet can fly off them. Also be careful when handling the magnets, as they can pinch your skin. Keep magnets out of reach of small children and pets.

Video transcript available here.

Happy DIY-ing! If you try this, let us know how you go in the comments section here or on YouTube. If you’re in the classroom, there are teachers notes available here with Australian Curriculum links.

2 comments

  1. Reblogged this on News @ CSIRO and commented:
    What happens when your rocket fuel is magnetic force? Our Helix peeps investigate (in super slow-mo).

      Reply
  2. I thought of a similar idea years ago involving a train propelled by solar powered super magnets. The magnets attract the train. just when the train is close to the magnet, the magnet turns around facing it’s negative side. The momentum propels the train to the next magnet.

      Reply

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