A Diamagnetic Levitator made from Wood

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These are photos of my first successful static magnetic levitation. Above and below the small Radio Shack rare earth magnet are pieces of Bismuth formed from melted non-lead shot. This design and the use of shot were suggested by Simon Quellen Field's great web site.

There is some additional early discussion of this topic by William Beaty and Ed Philips and others, with some photos of Ed's device here.

This is my second design, which enclosed the magnet within a 17mm high piece of plastic tubing.  The tubing is cut from a 15 mm inside diameter plastic container that was sold containing glitter.

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In this system,  carbon motor commutator brush material is used above and below the small Radio Shack magnet. 

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I made two disks of the material on a lathe.  This material is very black and a bit powdery and in a quick test works better than the Bismuth shot.  I've also tried some graphite kindly provided by Glenn Ballard.   It is harder, dark gray, and has a visible crystalline structure.  This was not nearly as diamagnetic as the carbon electrode.

On September 25, 1999, Meredith and Lee Ann Lamb and Denny Ambrisco visited to check out some of the carbon electrodes that Meredith had recently purchased.   

January 15, 2000
Today I made a different version of the levitator, using just one carbon planchet below the tiny Radio Shack rare-earth floating magnet.  I purchased 1-inch diameter planchets from Ted Pella, Inc. at a cost of $8 for 10.  I think this makes a neat demo!  I was able to float the magnet a bit higher than indicated in the photograph, but at that height the camera would cause the magnet to take off and join the upper ring magnet, so a photograph was impossible!


Pushing up two magnets linked with a small piece of paper, a la Meredith Lamb:

Levitating a 2mm x 2mm x 2mm cubic magnet with a donut magnet above and a graphite planchet below.

Video1  Video2  Video3