|This page shows some experiments with a small wooden
diamagnetic levitation stand which uses Carbon graphite blocks. You may
have seen our other page in which Bismuth was used. The stand itself is
simple; it has a large magnet overhead attached to a threaded shaft. (See
the picture below.) In this stand we used a large Neodymium Iron Boron
magnet, although less expensive ceramic magnets seem to work just as well.
Below are two Carbon graphite blocks. One is glued to the base, while the
other is attached to one of the vertical dowels so that it can be raised,
lowered, or turned away if not used. The Carbon graphite works every bit
as well as Bismuth for this demonstration, and is considerably less
expensive. We would advise anybody building a stand like this to coat the
Carbon graphite with some clear enamel or other coating to keep the
graphite from rubbing off. It can be rather messy! Some Carbon samples are
more diamagnetic than others, but these blocks are the best we have seen.
They are available on our products page.
Pictured below is a small 3/16" cube magnet floating between the two Carbon blocks. This is the more stable way to levitate, by having one block below and one above. The highest levitation can be achieved by using both blocks, and should the stand be badly adjusted, the upper block will keep the magnet from flying up into the overhead magnet. Try doing this, and then gently (very gently!) blow on one side of the floating magnet with a straw! It will spin for an unbelievably long time, at an incredible rate!
Below is an image of the same 3/16" cube magnet floating without a Carbon block overhead. With this setup it's possible to float the cube magnet about 3/32" over the block! At this point, it's very touchy - The slightest vibration or air current will cause the cube magnet to fly up into the overhead "biasing" magnet. It's important to place a pad on the bottom of the overhead biasing magnet to prevent your magnets from breaking. Leather or thin rubber from inner tubes works fine.
Creating a diamagnetic levitation stand is fairly easy, and the demonstration is incredible.
You can order the magnets from our website. We sometimes stock the carbon-graphite block, but they are hard to keep in stock--there are other online shops that sell them, though. Check out our Shopping Cart for these and other cool magnet science items! Please send us an email if you have any questions.
Back to Diamagnetic Levitation Main Page