Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011

Neodymium-Magnet Toy

Neodymium magnets, spherical magnets also called rare-earth magnets (meaning they're very expensive to buy), have been harnessed by toy companies and used to create a line of toys based on the breakthrough discovery of a spherical cage of carbon atoms (the buckminsterfullerene), for which Robert F. Curl, Harold W. Kroto and Richard E. Smalley were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Not long after, the ever captivating Buckyballs were released: a cube-shaped box filled with extremely small magnets about the size of BBs. With effort, they could be separated and stacked into various shapes, much to the delight of idle hands everywhere.