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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Procedure

You'll need a fairly sensitive scale for this procedure. A bathroom scale won't cut it!

Crush ½ cup of cereal in a baggie, until the flakes are half their original size. Pour into a bowl.

Add 1 cup of hot water and mix with a wooden spoon.

Get a strong, 3-inch bar magnet that is not grey or black (so the iron filings will show up). Don't use a horseshoe magnet.

Put the magnet into the cereal mix and stir gently in a circle for a fixed amount of time, say 5 minutes. Try not to bump the bottom or sides of the bowl.

Take out the magnet. Remove the iron filings that it pulled from the cereal, and weigh them on a laboratory scale.

Last Modified: 2/14/2011
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