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Demonstration of diamagnetic levitation

Demonstration of diamagnetic levitation

A250/0083

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Credit

PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A demonstration of room-temperature diamagnetic levitation. Diamagnetism is a cumulative effect of the response of atomic electrons to a magnetic field. As the electrons move through the field, they are propelled by the diamagnetic effect in a direction opposite to the magnetic flux. In non- magnetic metals, such as the aluminium object seen here, the total effect on all of the atomic electrons can result in enough force to cause levitation. The strength of the effect is independent of temperature, unlike the much stronger superconductor technology currently being studied. It is hoped that diamagnetic levitation may result in frictionless rotors for robotic use.

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