A Levitron is a small device or toy that displays the use of spin stabilised magnetic levitation, which means that a magnet is levitated by an array of magnets opposing the magnetic force. This compels the object to float a few inches above the magnets with a slow spin, to stabilise itself. A Levitron can be made at home using the simple properties of magnetic repulsion. The first Levitron toy was released in the 1970s.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 3 very strong magnets
- Large glass bowl with flat bottom
- Playing card
- Tin foil
- Copper wire
- 4 small neodymium magnets
Cover your playing card in tin foil, only using enough to cover the card completely. Take the four neodymium magnets and stick each one to a corner of the covered playing card. The positive force side of the magnet will be the non-sticky side. Set the card aside.
Place the three magnets beneath your bowl, equal distance apart. The magnets need the negative side facing up toward the bowl. Take your copper wire and wrap it around your finger about 15 times to make 15 small loops. Clasp the two ends of the copper wire together to make a circle. Place the copper wire inside the bowl over top of the magnets.
Place the card with the magnet side down inside the bowl, about 4 inches away from the wire. The playing card will levitate above the wire. You can affect the magnetic force outside the bowl by moving a metal object near the playing card. This will move the card around will still levitating. Try using different metal objects to observe each one's effect on the card.
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