Mjölnir's Secret: Microwave Oven Magnets - Who Knew? Videos for Engineers
The secret of Mjölnir, Thor's hammer, has finally been revealed. As it turns out, being found 'worthy' of lifting Mjölnir requires having the right thumbprint. Well, at least inventor / maker Allen Pan's version of the hammer does. The July/August issue of Popular Science ran an article on Pan's cleverly converted toy Mjölnir wherein he buried four lead-acid batteries to power a scrounged microwave oven transformer for duty as an electromagnet. An Arduino Uno-driven sensor detects Pan's unique thumbprint and disables the electromagnet to allow him alone to lift the hammer from its perch atop a metal base - such as a manhole cover or steel construction plate.
The video below shows the reactions of people on the street who are utterly unable to budge the hammer while Allen walks up to it and effortlessly lifts his Mjölnir. As always, I am amazed by yet another example of a world full of creative, inventive people like Allen Pan.
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