Oct 13, 2023

How Rotation Drives Magnetic Levitation

Posted by in category: futurism

A detailed experimental analysis explains the forces by which a spinning magnet can cause another magnet to levitate in midair.

Magnetic levitation is common in floating trains and high-speed machinery, but two years ago, a new type of levitation was discovered that uses a rapidly rotating magnet to suspend a second magnet in the air. Researchers have now clarified that this phenomenon originates from slight tilts in the magnetic axes of the magnets relative to their rotational axes [1]. The research team’s experimental and theoretical work reveals surprises about how magnetic levitation works. The new technique could one day be used as a contact-free tool for manipulating objects.

If you bring together two toy magnets with their north poles facing each other, they will repel each other. You might be tempted to try and use that repulsion to counter the force of gravity by placing one magnet beneath the other. However, common experience shows that this balancing act is unstable.

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