Magnetic attraction of free lecture

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From the destructive capabilities of the X-Men’s arch-nemesis Magneto to the fun items you put on your fridge, magnets are a magical but practical part of life.

Scientists from the Institution for Engineering and Technology are to demonstrate the Magic of Magnetism on stage at Sheffield Hallam University’s free Christmas lecture this Friday.

The scientists will be assisted by the pupils of Barnsley’s Curbar Primary School, who will carry out spectacular experiments .

There will be a bicycle generator, a cake-making microwave oven, steel rods tied in knots, a Jacob’s Ladder and 150,000 volt sparks.

Dr Richard Walton, from the Centre for Science Education at Hallam, has organised the event.

He said: “We all use electricity in dozens of ways each day, but without magnetism, there would not be the vast network of power stations supplying us with a constant flow of energy.

“This lecture looks at the discovery and uses of magnetism - from the days of the ancient Chinese compasses to modern uses of magnets in radars and microwave ovens. On the way, we’ll learn of Oersted’s experiments showing that electric currents make magnets, and Faraday’s wonderful discovery of electromagnetic induction that led to electric generators and the National Grid.”

The lecture is on Friday, December 9, 7pm in the Pennine lecture theatre at the Owen building on Arundel Gate.