Introduction: Levitate Objects in Mid-Air (Really!)

I found myself wanting more out of my Levitron, which levitates a small top about six inches into the air using a pair of magnets, but scaling it up is both beyond my price range and inefficient, considering that we have the Bernoulli Effect.

Basically, the faster you push air around something, the less air that actually pushes the object. The air will flow around the object, and the object will lift into the air.. It's part of what keeps airplanes flying, too.


Anyway: Let's get to the levitating, already! ; )

In this Instructable, I'll show you how to use this principle to float a variety of objects, including 2-liter plastic soda bottles, soda cans, a screwdriver, a ping-pong ball, and your pet hamster! (Not really, but you could :P )

Step 1: What We'll Need:

This project won't require much, it's pretty easy.

We'll need something that can propel a lot of air, like a Blowdryer or a leaf blower. These don't have to be anything special, although you do get a little bit more power out of a gas-powered leaf blower.

Some open space if you're going to use a powerful blower, (I suppose you could use an electric leaf blower inside, though).

Something to levitate:
Table-tennis balls work well with the hair dryer, but other small, light things can work, too.

Using a leaf blower opens a lot more possibilities, like beach balls (these are the absolute best if you can find one ((or two!))), or two liter bottles, etc. (Anything without too many corners, and isn't too heavy. Think about how much a small apple weighs, and you have an idea of what we're looking for.)

Some ear protection for the youngsters is a good idea.

Step 2: Ready? Set? Go!

Get all the things you want to try and levitate handy, as well as your blower. (Make sure again that everyone around you knows that there's about to be something flying around the room).

Now, Er....turn the blower on! Try and set it pointing straight up, (Another person is a great help here). Once you have it up, take an object and gently place it in the stream of air and let go carefully. Your object should be hovering in mid-air, with minimal wobble-age. Now let others marvel at your ability to levitate objects with magic!

Common problems are:

1. The object starts to hover and then falls away to the ground.

Solution: Get a lighter object, a rounder object, or a more powerful air blower. (Or just try again :P ). Also, make sure that the blower is fairly vertical, and listing too much off to one side.

That's really the only issue I've had so far, but if you find any, tell me and I'll update.

Step 3: Tips and Tricks

Now for the even cooler part: You can wave the blower around and the object will fly around after it! It takes practice, but you eventually you'll be able to chase people around with it. :P

Try other objects, (like toilet paper :D ). You can put a roll on a dowel rod and hold it in front of the blower and stream the the toilet paper around, (It'll go about 30 feet into the air, if you're careful).

Try adding more than one object, and be amazed as they all hover in a line, and even "orbit" around each other.

A 2-liter bottle with a small amount of water in it for ballast will also work well.

Just experiment and have fun with it! I thought that extra exclamation points would make this Instructable sound a bit more cheerful!


Comments

author
jray03 (author)2014-03-26

I couldn't find a snuggles at any store In my area

author
howest525 (author)2013-11-27

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author
MEMJIM (author)2011-07-31

This to,shall pass.........

author
squigglyspooge (author)2007-10-04

Sorry, this isnt levitation. "Levitation (from Latin levare, to raise) is the process by which an object is suspended against gravity, in a stable position, by a force without physical contact." You are using aerodynamics to float the object (which involved physical contact.)

author
carbon (author)squigglyspooge2007-10-08

'Use Aerodynamics to Float Objects in Mid-Air (Really!)' seemed a bit much, to me. ;)

author
squigglyspooge (author)carbon2007-10-13

Yeah but "Levitate Objects in Mid-Air (Really!)" really isn't levitation, so the really seems kinda... wrong.

author
Obsessive (author)squigglyspooge2008-04-12

So who the hell really cares? Get over it. Nice instructable carbon. Awesome idea.

author
GameNox (author)Obsessive2011-01-13

NOOOOT REALY! ANYONE CAN DO IT. Sorry.

author
turner22 (author)squigglyspooge2008-04-15

it floats in the air. good enough. God forbid we call it levitation.

author
stasys (author)2008-08-01

One anyone can do is get a ping pong ball and a hairdryer. Works all the time. ( Unless theres a power cut )

author
fred21 (author)2008-07-05

i once used a golf ball and it hit me in the head

author
Trimaster (author)2007-04-17

i want to see your kittey fly

author
onlyonebowman (author)Trimaster2008-06-01

i wanna see you fly

author
carbon (author)Trimaster2007-10-08

One day.. she shall. :P

author
Weissensteinburg (author)2007-03-31

So...did snuggles levitate?

author
carbon (author)Weissensteinburg2007-03-31

I'm getting a bigger leaf blower... :P

author
tac135 (author)carbon2008-05-23

My cat would probably be too fat to levitate, even with the biggest leaf blower you could find.

author
fishycracker (author)2007-05-28

what happend to ur hand... lol

author
carbon (author)fishycracker2007-10-08

Chemical burn.

author
ultrauber (author)carbon2008-04-04

what chemical? hydrofluoric acid?

author
abbtech (author)2007-07-28

Nice demo but it would have been easier to watch it the camera was not turned on its side.

author
carbon (author)abbtech2007-10-08

Was I the one filming it? No, I wasn't. :P

author
NickHein (author)2007-08-20

When I was a kid I received a Christmas toy that was based on this principle.
http://www.rjtaylor.net/products/airship/johnny_astro.htm

It would be a simple matter to make one now, but I had a lot of fun with the Johnny Astro. My Dad did too, I heard him playing with it on Christmas Eve as he was putting out the toys with Mom. I had it for a long time and later hacked it into something else. If anyone wants to make an instructable on how to build this, or modify the leaf blower to make a controllable yoke, I'd like to see it.

Nick Hein
WV

author
asianwizard (author)2007-03-31

id id sumhthink like this with a fan and a ballon with a marble in it

author

geez someone has an f in spelling

author
carbon (author)ich bin ein pyro2007-03-31

You must have gotten an F in capitalization! :P And punctuation! ; )

author
ich bin ein pyro (author)carbon2007-04-02

yup for a while my nickname was mr no name cuz i always forgot my name at the top of the paper and its not an f its a d minus :P

author

well, i doubt theres a class in capitalization, so how do you get a D- in it?

author

actually i just check and today in english i got a c but i m a reley good speler gud spelers of the wolrd untie!

author

"really" i presume...

author
carpediemkiddo (author)carbon2007-04-01

Well... "...have gotten..." is passive voice.

author

The passive voice is to be ignored.

author
royalestel (author)2007-03-31

I think it would be easier to look at if your pictures were all rotated vertically.

author
carbon (author)royalestel2007-03-31

Oops, thanks for pointing that out. Sometimes you don't see these things. I told her, "Don't turn the camera sideways!" And what does she go ahead and do? Gah! Women!

author
royalestel (author)carbon2007-04-02

Much better. You know, some people say, "There's a woman to blame" but I know, it's your own dang fault. :)

author
canida (author)carbon2007-03-31

*administers a much-needed boot to the head*

author
Sgt.Waffles (author)2007-03-31

In the first picture, i thought the cat was dead, and you were going to levitate it. That would be an instructable.

author
CameronSS (author)2007-03-31

Yay for Snuggles! Kitty make me happy!

author
carbon (author)CameronSS2007-03-31

Kitteh makes everyone happy! ::snuggles Snuggles:: :D

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