Visualizing the magnetic fields of “buckyballs”
You can think of a magnetic field as a collection of invisible fibers that fill space. These fibers are produced and deformed by magnets, and these invisible lines represent how other magnets placed inside the lines will experience forces from the magnets that originally produced these fields. The forces can be modeled with simple vector calculus because the magnets can be treated as dipoles.
I have 216 small spherical metal balls containing rare earth magnets, called “buckyballs” in stores. I decided to look at some of the simplest modular structures that can be formed with the buckyballs:
Here is my visualization of the “fibers” of the smallest triangle formable:
The two by two square formed with four buckyballs:
The triangle used to build a buckyball “icosahedron” or ball-shaped object:
And the hexagon module used to build a snowflake:
Other people also enjoy making complex shapes with buckyball magnets, such as these examples:
There are a lot more on Flickr.