You may remember the Insane Clown Posse’s eternal question, infinitely quoted from their 2009 single “Miracles”: “Fucking magnets, how do they work?”
They had the Internet stumped until now. The latest video from MinutePhysics, a growing YouTube series by Henry Reich, explains the miracles of magnetism on a particle level in under seven minutes. It’s science class on speed, with Reich’s energetic and easy-to-follow narration paired with a clever animation that includes swords and warrior helmets.
Reich, who earned his graduate degree at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, tells Co.Design, “My style for MinutePhysics has developed a little over the years, but the main philosophy behind it is this: Physics is often perceived as complicated, confusing, and intimidating, and I fear that by using fancy cameras and Hollywood special effects, people will be intimidated even more.” He intentionally designs his videos with simplicity in mind: “Stick figures are an incredibly comfortable and reassuring way of talking about complicated physics, precisely because they’re so simple. And I draw so poorly that people won’t be intimidated by dazzling fancy-pants production quality, either” Making videos began as a hobby for Reich: “It was never intended to become my full-time job,” he says.
The rules of attraction are demystified here–learn how electromagnetism is a result of special relativity and permanent magnetism is a result of quantum mechanics. We rely on magnets to stick notes to our fridge and to keep rollercoasters from falling off the track mid-loop-de-loop; Iris Van Herpen used them to create her latest collection of moonscape dresses; and credit cards, electric guitars, compasses, TV screens, and microphones wouldn’t function without them. But how many of us actually know why this is the case?
Insane Clown Posse’s famous magnet rhyme continues, “I don’t wanna talk to a scientist–y’all motherf*ckers lying, and getting me pissed.” What do you think? Is MinutePhysics lying? And if you’re reading this, ICP, please make a response video.