3D Tractor Beam - Magnetic Levitation Breakthrough

Introduction: 3D Tractor Beam - Magnetic Levitation Breakthrough

About: Magnet Enthusiast

I discovered an effect, what to my knowledge is a novel way of magnetic levitation!

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Step 1: Tape a 5mm Cube Magnet to a Dremel

The 5mm, N42 cube magnet
https://sumag.net/w-05-n-x01 is attached to the dremel so that its poles are facing a 90 degree angle with respect of the spinning axle. This creates a spinning magnetic field. Because of the high rpms, magnetic locking isn't enough. Tape adds strength to the connection and makes the experiment more safe.

Step 2: Copper or Aluminum Will Help But Isn't Necessary

The levitating magnet should have its poles facing up and down. A 5mm
cube magnet will position itself automatically in this direction once the dremel is on. Inductive materials such as aluminum or copper aren't necessary for the effect but they will stabilize the magnet and therefore help get the magnet levitating. The most crucial part of this experiment is the right rotation speed. The particular Dremel I used has two gears. When the Dremel was fully accelerated on the first gear, levitation could be achieved. Furthermore the levitation gap can be modified by adjusting the rpm. Faster rpm means a smaller levitation gap.

Step 3: Safety Precautions

Magnets are brittle and the high centrifugal force of a powertool can easily break a magnet. It happens very often that the levitating magnet locks temporarily to the spinning magnet and shoots with a high velocity in a random direction. Using eye protection is a no brainer! In the video, I used my finger to alter the rotation speed of the Dremel to demonstrate the modifiable levitation gap. This is dangerous, friction heats a finger fast and can result into a nasty burn - a glove is also a very bad option because it can get easily stuck between the Dremel and maybe even break a finger. Please be careful if you are going to recreate this!

Step 4: Final Thoughts

There are many ways to magnetically levitate a magnet, but this doesn't seem to fit the existing methods to my knowledge. I don't quite understand the phenomena so it's best I don't try to explain it. Feel free to share your thoughts down below.

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    2 Discussions


    9 months ago

    This kind of looks like an upside down reverse magnetic spinning top, like the magnet is periodically attracted and repelled while rotating enough so that it can stay up in the air. Would be cool to see a tuned and stable setup.


    Reply 9 months ago

    Thank you for your comment! I while ago I posted this to r/askphysics in
    reddit. I asked whether I had stumbled on a new way of magnetic
    levitation. I got downvoted for that and someone said that the forces
    involved are just the same as in spin-stabilized magnetic levitation.
    Maybe, I'm no physics guy but it just feels very counter intuitive when
    everything is so very different. When the rpm is right the levitation is
    very stable compared to a levitron. Anyhow I got more appreciation for
    my discovery from engineers at reddit. I'm working on a stable setup.