How to make a homemade Levitron

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to make a homemade Levitron
Recreate the magnetic forces in a Levitron to levitate objects. (verre bleu sur fond blanc. image by Bruno Bernier from Fotolia.com)

A Levitron is a type of antigravity top toy set that uses spin stabilised magnetic levitation. The device is generally composed of a saucer shaped top and a magnetised base. The magnets in both parts of the device are placed in such a way that they oppose the usual magnetic force. This allows objects to levitate or float above the base while the top spins the object slightly for stability. Although you can purchase the toy set, you can also recreate your own Levitron as a less costly alternative.

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Things you need

  • 4 small round neodymium magnets
  • Double sided tape
  • Playing cards
  • Tin foil
  • 3 strong magnets
  • Flat-bottom glass bowl
  • Copper wire

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove one playing card from the pack of cards.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of tin foil large enough to cover both sides of a playing card. Cover the card with tin foil.

  3. 3

    Cut four small pieces of tape approximately the size of the neodymium magnets. Remove the peel off one side of a piece of tape and stick it to the negative side of one neodymium magnet. Remove the remaining peel and stick the magnet to one of the corners of the playing card on the tin foil. Repeat the procedure for the remaining three magnets.

  4. 4

    Place three strong magnets equidistant from each other underneath the flat-bottom glass bowl. Make sure the negative side of the magnet is facing up.

  5. 5

    Coil a piece of copper wire 15 times around your finger. Remove the coil from your finger and twist the two ends of the wire together to form a circular shape.

  6. 6

    Place the coiled wire inside the glass bowl in the centre of the three magnets.

  7. 7

    Place the playing card with the magnets facing downward inside the bowl approximately four inches from the wire. The playing card will levitate and move above the coiled wire.

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