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61: Chain Reaction

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 by in No Limit, Video

“Nothing is lost. . .Everything is transformed.”

― Michael Ende, The Neverending Story


$250 First Place

The November 2018 Zen Magnets contest is to capture footage of a magnetic mechanical exothermic reaction. #1st place gets $250. At least 5 winners.

Create a situation one small movement releases the potential energy of  many magnets through a cascading conversion to kinetic energy, and creating a small amount of entropy on the side.

In other words, make a chain reaction.


For Example:

Toppling Dominoes

Threaded Popsicle Sticks

Magnet Discs

Don’t worry about making the video loop in reverse like those examples. Nor should you worry about making your chain reaction as spectacular as the examples above. Seeing as how we know of very few ways to make such a chain reaction happen with magnet spheres, you should consider yourself impressive if you can figure out any such chain reactions where one small motion results in a lot of magnets moving.

Any brand of 5mm magnet spheres may be used. Slow-motion and editing of playback speed is allowed. The time limit for the video is 15 seconds max, so don’t build a gigantic rube goldberg machine.  If you have more to show than 15 seconds, link another video in your description because we’re sure to be curious.


Summary of Requirements:

  • Any brand of 5mm Magnets Spheres.
  • No other props that contribute energy may be used, aside from whatever is used to start the reaction.
  • Video must be maximum of 15 seconds, submitted to youtube.
  • Video quality must be at least 720p in resolution at 30fps.
  • 1 Submission per person, no later than 11/30/2018. If you send multiple, the last one will be considered.

As usual, the judges will be your peers. There will be at least five winners, and possibly more depending on participation. The prize for first place will be $250 Zen Credit, and second place will get $100.

Submit Here

Everything you submit goes into the public domain. And of course, the first and foremost requirement is that you have fun!