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Can a steel ball ( marble ) hover ?

  1. Feb 20, 2010 #1
    Hi, my name's Louis-Philippe and I'm a high school student FOND of physics. Unfortunately, I'm not yet a physicist and I can't ( yeah, I tried ) understand half of what's written on wikipedia about it.
    I'm also kind of an artist and our art teacher gave us carte blanche, so I decided to represent the complexity of atoms throughout a very simple model : a hovering steel ball.
    We've recently seen Newton's law of universal gravitation at school and I wondered if some equivalent could be right with magnetism...in simple words, could a magnet's force on the steel marble be the perfect opposite of the weight of the object, so that in the end the whole thing would hover!

    Please let me know if it's possible, if yes, then why ( try to be simple, but not too much, I'm no dumb ).
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2010 #2


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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  4. Feb 20, 2010 #3
    Thus meaning it couldn't be done easily?
  5. Feb 20, 2010 #4
    Of course you can levitate a normal magnet if you stabilize it mechanically. But to do what you are talking about I don't think is possible. I don't feel like looking up the magnetic properties of steel, but you either need a diamagnetic material in an extremely strong magnetic field or you need to be levitating a superconductor.

    Maybe you could try to levitate your steel ball attached to something else, not sure.
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