Artist and inventor Kenneth Snelson has proposed his own model of the atom. This eight-magnet example is one of a series of small geometric figures, dubbed magnet circlespheres, made up of equal-diameter magnets to illustrate his concept of an atom's electronic structure. When one magnet is turned by hand, the rest follow like a circular chain of gears.
Another Snelson magnet-based geometric model.
Kenneth Snelson in his Manhattan studio, Fall 2011.
For examples of Snelson's tensegrity sculptures, see "Needle Tower" and "Tensegrity Tower in New Orleans."
Photos by I. Peterson