Six-Magnet Levitation

The six magnets from  Forcefield (#27 dimensions: 1.25" x 0.56", 0.125" thick), which cost $2.01 each, have their poles on the 1.25" x 0.56" faces.  They are placed on a 2" wide by 0.125" thick steel bar from Home Depot which cost $9.41.  The pole arrangement is:

N S N

N S N

so that with respect to the photograph above, the magnets are attracting from left to right but repelling from upper to lower.

A piece of Science Toy pyrolytic graphite is floating above the magnets.  This material was purchased from Simon Quellen's catalog, three pieces for $6.00 plus $5.00 for shipping.  This piece has been split from the original and is about 0.5 mm thick.

In order to get the graphite to remain centered, I've added a thin sliver of pyrolytic graphite cut into a lens shape.   This shape not only centers the large piece, but also increases the period of oscillations from about 2 to about 5 second.

I've also tried this pattern of poles:

N S N

S N S

The large graphite will stabilize in the center, but seems damped in it's motion and will stabilize in more than one location.

Back