Non-magnetic materials have one of three magnetic properties:

  1. Paramagnetic - some materials, such as aluminum, are slightly attracted by a magnet.
  2. Feromagnetic - some materials, such as iron, are strongly attracted by a magnet.
  3. Diamagnetic - some, such as graphite and water, are slightly repelled by a magnet.

    (For more details, see this Georgia State University page by C.R. Nave.)

Diamagnetism can:

Levitate graphite.


A USGS Publication on Graphite

Other Links

Meredith Lamb's Giant Levitator

An articles in The Physics Teacher by Charles A. Sawicki:

Inexpensive demonstration of the magnetic properties of matter (December, 1998)

Gene's levitation page with a few values of magnetic susceptibility:

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