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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 6 (2001) pp 321-323

Spontaneous Assembly of Magnetic LEGO Bricks

Dean J. Campbell,* Ellen R. Freidinger, Moira K. Querns

Department of Chemistry, Bradley University, Peoria, IL 61625
Received July 31, 2001. Accepted August 27, 2001

Published online: 16 November 2001

Abstract. This paper describes simple methods of demonstrating macroscale spontaneous assembly. These demonstrations can illustrate topics in college or high school chemistry courses, such as the thermodynamics of crystallization and the chelate effect. The assembling units are built from a combination of magnetic and conventional LEGO building blocks. Unlike many other spontaneous-assembly experiments, these assemblies do not require surface flotation to form.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; general chemistry; thermodynamics

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Issue date: December 7, 2001

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