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Magic Penny Trust

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NOW in UK and US

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   sponsored by:
Brunel University
Institute of Physics
The Royal Institution
Edinburgh Science
British Association
Daresbury Laboratory

Magnetic Coins and Non-magnetic Coins in Learning and Play
Ciencias y Artes


Magic Penny Magnet Kit:
4th Edition reaches top ten in US Toy list
- coins secured from Royal Mint for projected sales in 2016

sponsored by:
Brunel University, The Royal Institution and Institute of Physics
- a valuable, novel educational tool?
- an attractive family, company, or diplomatic present?
- will 2015 be the last Original Magic Penny Festive Season?

The Magic Penny Trust is pleased to announce that in the United States, sales of the 4th Edition of its Magic Penny Magnet Kit are booming. Equally importantly, as the present UK 1p and 2p coins near the inevitable end of their official life, sufficient coins from the Royal Mint have just been secured for the anticipated much increased sales in 2016.

Since the launch of the First Edition in the UK in 1995, over 100,000 Magic Penny Magnet kits, with their specially designed stainless steel covered ceramic block magnets and freshly minted 1p, 2p, and now 5p and 10p UK magnetic coins, have been sold. Most of the sales have occurred in the US where none of the present coins are magnetic. This and the fact that the diameters of the present copper-plated and nickel-plated steel UK coins are such that five 2p coins fit almost exactly around one 5p coin, makes them even more special.

Following the successful withdrawal of several low value coins from circulation in Canada and New Zealand, it seems that the withdrawal of UK 1p and 2p coins from circulation might be announced in the coming Autumn budget. To those who appreciate the educational value of the coins, it is particularly ironic that this might occur just as the popularity of the new kit is booming. For several weeks the kit has been in the top 50 out of thousands of toys on sale at a major US outlet reaching number 10 on the 24 September

Included in the kit is an expanded 4th Edition of the book "Investigating Magnetism". In the book (now 80 pages), 44 hands-on experiments which all can enjoy are outlined and clearly illustrated with supporting scientific information relevant to activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In particular, completely new CIRCLE PACKING and GRAVITY-MAGNETISM BALANCING experiments, developed in Patagonia Argentina, are are clearly described and have attracted a lot of interest.

An easy to read, illustrated, paper on CIRCLE PACKING with MAGNETIC COINS, published in the Proceedings of the 2015 Bridges Conference on Mathematics and Art, in Baltimore USA in July, received excellent comments from the reviewers.

Two independent videos of the 4 COINS on a WINEGLASS demonstration, one filmed in the UK and another filmed in the USA clearly showing the Magic Penny magnets in use, have each attracted over 700,000 views on Youtube

Most of the experiments described in "Investigating Magnetism" are completely novel and based on ORIGINAL DISCOVERIES made by the Trust since 1993. These discoveries continue to amaze experienced scientists, engineers and lay persons, young and old, alike. They provide a basis for demonstrating, in a completely novel way, the properties of MAGNETIC FIELDS and the geometry of CIRCLE PACKING, relevant to science and engineering generally. The photographs published in the Proceedings of the Bridges 2015 Conference have been much praised.

The discoveries also open up a wealth of opportunities for CREATIVITY and ARTISTIC EXPRESSION. INTERACTIVE MODELS based on them have proved to be extremely popular with the media and at family SCIENCE and ENGINEERING outreach events internationally.

And all this stemmed from the finding in 1993 of a car keybox with a UK penny stuck to it. And asking "Why?" and "What if ...?" and designing suitable safe magnets for all, to help answer the questions.

    More information and links to VIDEOS and photographs

"Brunel Arch" - a non-magnetic coin, here a real UK 2 pound coin featuring a portrait of the engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is held in place by magnetic coins standing vertically on two Magic Penny magnets.
- this is a variation of the "Lincoln Arch " described in this latest edition using the 1cent US coin included in the kit. (the Brunel coin is not included)

Real UK coins balanced on the edge of a real UK 20 pound note. The reverse of the note (not included in the kit!) features a portrait of Michael Faraday and an engraving based on his work at The Royal Institution in London.
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