In 2002, I bought a small amount of ferrofluid off the internet. It was around the time when I started to learn Processing. I began asking for advice on the Processing forum on how to translate the formulas for magnetism into code. I received a great deal of help and after a couple days, I had a working 2D prototype. I have been using some version of this prototype ever since. (Note, the 2D prototype code is extremely old and outdated.)
The reason the black oil appealed to me was that it allows you to visualize the invisible field surrounding magnets. Its like a three dimensional execution of the iron filings test but much more mesmerizing. I instantly wanted to know more about them. Why do they behave the way they do? Why are they spaced out just so? What insane amount of math is going on behind the scenes?
These questions eventually led me to the study of Cymatics. Below are my first studies for replicating cymatic phenomena using code.