Date Sun, 23 Jun 2002 200523 EDT

Subject Levitation Apparatus

To meredith, David, James, and John

Hi Meredith,

GraphiteLevRig.jpg (47806 bytes)

This is a general view of my 'parallel' U magnet levitation apparatus. The two square fixtures are independent and can be aligned, separated, angled etc. The support plate underneath can be leveled in both directions. The toolmaker's clamps allow me to vary the separation of the opposed gold magnet poles and to make the gap either parallel or tapered in either direction to vary the stability. The magnet backing strip nearest the camera is attached to the middle plate by two spring pins. The far strips slide on the middle plates and move the four rear magnets. The rig is made from 'gauge plate' in a soft condition. It is supplied with accurately ground flat surfaces in a very wide variety of rectangular / square / plate sizes. I have put a tape measure in view to give the rough scale.


GraphiteLevDetail.jpg (48319 bytes)

This is a view directly over the levitation gap, showing a 0.9 mm levitated graphite rod. It lifts to about 1/8", half the height of the magnets. I have put a strip of white paper in the bottom of the gap so that the graphite rod shows up clearly. The gold magnets are 1/2" square by 1/4" thick and are magnetized on opposing 1/2" x 1/4" faces. They are set up so that all the central poles are the same (NOT alternating N & S). One bank is set up with central N poles and the other is set up with central S poles.

My cylindrical magnet setup is nearly identical to your one and uses 12 mm square Fe tube with eight pairs of magnets, except that the tube is a bit longer and the top face has been milled flat. It rests on an Al alloy base plate which may be leveled in both directions using socket cap screws having a pitch of 20 thou. These give quite precise adjustment with a standard Allen Key.

The pics are not of the best quality, but they are the best that I can do with only moderately good artificial light. I said that I would let you see what I have been doing and hope that they will be of interest. I hope that David gets home safely.