Chapter 1

The Curie-effect heat engine in action


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How we built this model

The three wooden blocks in the photo above are all about the same size and shape. The large ferrite (ceramic) magnet is resting on two "tea-light" candles (small candles in little cups). One candle is lit (the other is just there to hold up the other end of the magnet). The flame just grazes the near end of the magnet.


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The moving part of the engine is a bent length of copper wire, with one of our tiny neodymium-iron-boron magnetic beads at the center.


If we let the neodymium magnet touch the large magnet, then it will not heat up as quickly as if it were just a little farther away. So we bend the wire a little bit, so only the copper wire touches the large magnet, and the small magnet can sit in the middle of the flame.