Introduction: Laser Motion Control of Levitating Graphite

Difficulty of realization 10/10

Step 1: How to Work

Picture of How to Work

With this experiment I want to prove that it is possible to convert light energy directly into kinetic energy without the need for solar panels and electric motors.

The objective is to move a piece of pyrolytic graphite in levitation using a beam of light. Soon I will try to use the light of the sun, but in this experiment I use a laser with which I can concentrate the luminous flux at a point.

This Demonstrates simple principles of transferring energy, as well as how motors and engines can operate on the principle of the magnetic spin degrees of freedom to create reversible heat cycles where no atoms or molecules are moved, offering a possible alternative way to harness solar energy.

This amazing discovery was made by the Japanese researcher Jiro Abe

Step 2: Graphite

Picture of Graphite

The pyrolytic graphite is the material that has the most intense diamagnetic properties. Thanks to diamagnetism graphite can levitate on North-South chessboard grid of neodymium magnets. Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat, so if hit by a laser beam immediately warms changing the diamagnetic response at that point, this causes the movement.

The graphite production is the most difficult part of the experiment because must have a thickness less than 50 microns. The pyrolytic graphite, as seen in the video to easily divided into "sheets" but to achieve a thickness of 50 micron I had to consume it with fine sandpaper, with the constant risk of breaking or pierce it.

Step 3: Magnets

I tried several dishes of levitation, made with magnets of different sizes. I believe that the small magnets work better for this experiment because minimize the resistance of the magnetic field between the files of the chessboard.

For more information on how to build a plate of levitation :

Step 4: ​How to Make

Picture of ​How to Make

Here is a list of materials used:

Laser Safety Glasses:
Mini Engraving Machine:
400 Strong Block Cuboid Magnet Rare 5mm:
1000 Neodymium Magnets Cubes 3mm:
Pyrolytyc Graphite :

If you like this experiment visit and subscribe to my youtube channel "Magnetic Games"


Where can you get graphite? can you get it for free?

DrDuctape (author)2017-02-18

Awesome! If you could do this with sunlight, that would be even more awesome!

gray beard (author)2017-01-31

Unfortunately, what you intended to prove was done in 1873, 144 years ago. This link: shows a radiometer being powered directly from sunlight by light photons. It can also be propelled by other forms of radiation. However, it was an interesting instructable.

zposner (author)2017-01-26

Awesome concept

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