Intro: Levitating Platform
In this instructable, I am going to show you how to build a levitating platform with the induction heater from my previous instructable.
Lenz's Law states that the direction of current induced in a conductor by a changing magnetic field due to Faraday's law of induction will be such that it will create a field that opposes the change that produced it.
The induction heater coil is producing an alternating magnetic field that induces eddy currents in the aluminum. The currents flowing through the aluminum produces an opposite magnetic field that repels the coil. A diamagnetic material like copper or pyrolytic graphite would levitate higher. Innovations in super conductors would make this technology incredibly more useful.
Step 1: What You Will Need
2. Aluminum Extrusions with hardware. You can use wood or whatever else you want to build the structure.
3. Wire. I used Litz wire but you can experiment around with wire that you have on hand that is thicker than 14AWG.
4. Aluminum Foil from the grocery store
5. Aluminum armature wire. You can also use solid core coper wire without insulation
6. Fire pad to keep heat from transferring to your table.
7. Terminal Block for connecting the coil to the heater
Step 2: Build Your Coil
Wind your coil and screw into the terminal strip. I used kapton tape to keep it all together. I made my coil with litz wire wound to an inductance of 13uH. You can experiment with different values and shapes. My coil measures 3.8" x 3.8" (96.52mm x 96.52mm).
Step 3: Build Your Support Structure
I used seven 10mm extrusions to build the structure. The hardware slides into the slots of the extrusions and it tightened down.
Step 4: Build Your Platform
Using aluminum armature wire, I made three support legs that wrap around the upright extrusions and then folded 4 layers of aluminum foil to complete the platform. You can use copper instead of aluminum for a platform with more lift. Copper is diamagnetic so it naturally repels magnetic fields.
Step 5: Wingardium Leviosa!
Now you are officially a wizard and can levitate metal! In all seriousness, this is a great project to demonstrate the physics behind Lenz's law and induction. It could be used as a instructional demo for schools, your children, or yourself.
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