Diamagnetic levitation on a jar lid

From the MAKE Flickr pool

Member Cmorris posted these images of an elegantly simple levitation setup –

Folded business card behind magnets provides nice contrast. The pyrolytic graphite square floats about 2mm above the magnets, you can easily slide a business card all the way underneath without disturbing it.


For those interested in learning more –
To put it simply, diamagnetism is a substance’s tendency to become magnetized in the opposite direction of an externally applied magnetic field. Demonstrations of this action in organic materials can be visually stunning:


The frog that learned to fly – Link
Why does the frog fly? – Link


Diamagnetic levitation – Link

From the Maker store:

Magnetic sculpture kit – Link

8 thoughts on “Diamagnetic levitation on a jar lid

  1. I remember when I was in school back in 1990 I think it was making my own ceramic superconductors (the 123 YBa2Cu3O7 type in liquid nitrogen) and levitating a small magnet over them. Using a small tube you could blow air over a levitating disc shaped magnet and get it spinning at incredible speeds.

  2. forget the pig, do it on a person.

    Actually, even the relatively simple levitation with an electromagnet and a photo-sensor should be done with a person (wearing an iron vest of some sort)

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