A Circle of Friends Discuss James Clerk MaxwellMark Esper
Electric circuits, infrared sensors, electromagnets, permanent magnets, acrylic and polycarbonate plastics, wood, floodlight, Bondo, fish line, nails
This project is an exercise in self-organizing form. It was a test bed for a much larger work now also realized. Set in a circle, there are twelve pendulums, each containing a permanent magnet. When a pendulum is directly above its circuit, which includes a sensor and an electromagnet, the electromagnet is energized. Because the resulting magnetic field has the same polarity as the magnet in the pendulum, the pendulum gets a little push. This is what keeps the pendulums moving. The magnetic polarity of all the pendulums is the same. Therefore, as they move about, the pendulums have effect on each other through mutual repulsion. The patterns of movement result from the interaction of the momentum of the pendulums and their magnetic repulsion. The movements of the pendulums are not random, but fall into self-organized patterns that constantly change
James Clerk Maxwell's discoveries made in the mid nineteenth century concerning the electromagnetic force, the propagation of light through space, and thermodynamics forms the bedrock of much of the science and technology developed since then. Our present world is in this way Maxwellian.
A Circle of Friends Discuss James Clerk Maxwell both illustrates and celebrates these findings, pointing to a new understanding of our nature.
A Circle of Friends Discuss James Clerk Maxwell is mesmerizing to watch. It has a calming effect.
email: mesper at panix dot com
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