Laser Jet Toner: a Magnetic Fluid

4.3 based on 134 ratings

Updated on Dec 09, 2011

Grade Level: 7th to 9th; Type: Physical Science


In this experiment, you will experience a magnetic fluid as it moves, bubbles, and forms unique shapes.

Research Questions:

  • Why does the fluid contort into different shapes?
  • Are there other fluids that are magnetic?
  • What makes them magnetic?


  • Magnets of varying size and strength
  • Laser jet toner (Ferro fluid)
  • Beaker
  • Pure vegetable oil
  • Stirring stick
  • Long, clear bottle, jar or flask

Experimental Procedure

  1. Pour 50mL of toner into the beaker.
  2. Pour in 30mL of pure vegetable oil.
  3. Stir it to a nice thin consistency. (If it is too thin, it might not work properly.)
  4. Pour the mixture into the long container.
  5. Touch a magnet to the container. Observe what happens to the fluid. (It should move with the magnet and contort into intriguing shapes.)
  6. Experiment with using other magnets. See what happens when you drop the magnets into the liquid.

Terms/Concepts: magnetism, magnetic fluid

References: Magnetism:

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