Diamagnetic Levitation Platform

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About: Electromechanical Engineer, Product Designer, Maker. I love to make prototypes and teach others in the process. I graduated from UCF and spent two years working at NASA.

In this instructable I will show you how to make a very simple diamagnetic levitation platform with only three parts.

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Step 1: What You Will Need

1. Pyrolytic Graphite

2. At least four 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/8" Neodymium Magnets. I used 16 but you can use as many as you want to make a larger platform.

3. Ferrite tile, steel plate or and other ferromagnetic sheet stock you might have.

You can buy a small demo kit here: http://amzn.to/1HZzdYw

Step 2: Assembly

Orient the magnets on the plate by alternating the magnetic poles as follows:

Row 1 // N-S-N-S

Row 2 // S-N-S-N

Row 3 // N-S-N-S

Row 4 // S-N-S-N

Use a compass to determine the poles of the magnets. The purpose of the plate is to prevent the magnets from collapsing on themselves.

Step 3: How It Works

Pyrolytic graphite is a very diamagnetic material. This means that it repels both poles of a magnet. Placing the magnets next to each other with alternating poles results in voids where the fields cancel out. The pyrolytic graphite levitates in those voids of the magnetic fields.

Notice how the larger piece of pyrolytic graphite likes to be in a square where as the small piece likes to orient in the center of 4 magnets and the corners line up with the gaps between the magnets.

You could make a track the the pyrolytic graphite rides on. All you need to do is make the track three magnets wide with the center strip the opposite pole of the sides. The pyrolytic graphite will be trapped in the center of the track and when pushed, it will ride the track.

Step 4: Thank You

Thanks for taking the time to read this instructable. Let me know if you have any questions and vote for me in the 3 ingredients contest. If not, that's ok too.

If you like my work, please subscribe to my youtube channel by clicking here. The first person to comment on my videos going forward will receive random parts from me. Free shipping to US only, but I will ship to other countries. The same person can not win more than once. Support me by sharing my videos and projects. Thank you!

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    5 Discussions

    0
    None
    carlos66ba

    3 years ago

    Funny, I have just built a similar system (but I used only 4 larger 25 mm x 25 mm x 5 mm magnets, so only one "minimum"). Can you explain better how you make the track?

    2 replies
    0
    None
    Proto Gcarlos66ba

    Reply 3 years ago

    You just orient the track like this:

    Row 1 N-S-N

    Row 2 N-S-N

    Row 3 N-S-N

    Row 4 N-S-N

    ...

    and so on. The graphite needs to be a little bigger than the size of the magnets. At least with the magnets that I've tried.

    0
    None
    Proto G

    3 years ago

    If you like my work, please subscribe to my youtube channel. The first person to comment on my videos going forward will receive random parts from me. Free shipping to US only, but I will ship to other countries. The same person can not win more than once. Support me by sharing my videos and projects. Thank you!