1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Hexamagnetic levitation using neodymium ball magnets

  1. Jun 19, 2013 #1

    Just wanted to say I did this today. I could envision it in theory a while.
    Went ahead and filed it under creative commons. Wondered If any of you "are" aware if this is a pattent somewhere? And maybe shed some light on it.

    We start with arranging neodymium ball magnets in a diamond like so..
    This gives us a magnet with two prodominant magnetic poles.

    The next thing we do is find either the negative or positive magnetic pole on one of the diamond points. And use tape (or something else to secure it stays in shape).
    After we taped half the diamond along the diagonal edge. We split it to get this shape. (neatly taped up). There may be arguments against spitting it up guess either way it will work.

    We now proceed to make six of these shapes. All having poles of the same polarity. And arrange them in a hexagon like so.

    Now precision is key here, the better the spacing is, the better results you may get. Ultimately this might even result in magnetic suspension. But for proof of concept I have gotten as far as suspending a neodymium ball inside a tube. With good results.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2013 #2
    Looks like fun.

    1. Was the Neodymium ball a magnet at room temperature?
    2. Was the ball suspended above, at, or below the plane of the six arrays.
    3. Was the tube within the six arrays, or exterior to the hexagon?
  4. Jun 20, 2013 #3
    1 slightly above room temperature, and very strong.
    2 It was floating above.
    3 dead center in the haxagon. X marks the spot.

    The intended funtion is to create a high amount of field around the tips and along the axes towards the center. This is accheived by using the weak force to bind the magnets together, and pushing the strong force out. Also I beleive this might cause more current in the flux by having a large mass plain to return to, compared to the small tip.

    In theory the ratio of force is equal in a hexagon, so if the ball magnet flips and starts getting pulled. It gets pulled equally in a tug of war. Where the diameter from tip to tip is equal to the diameter from tip to center. My thoughts where it would not levitate but suspend instead, turns out it levitates quite a bit.

    Looking at the graphics it looks like there are more possible configurations of magnets. Also a "hypothetical vortex" looks to be equaly exposed along the top right side of the triangle. Where the weak force is at it's strongest.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  5. Jun 21, 2013 #4
    On my site there is a link to some footage I made, using a quicky prototype.
    Found here
  6. Jun 23, 2013 #5
    In the video, it seemed to me that, in the diamagnetic orientation, the ball was above the plane, but the cylinder prevented the ball from moving toward the points of the magnetic triangles. The ball is at a meta-static point. Any move away from perfect balance will draw the ball further away. The L-1 and L-2 Lagrange points are similar. (It seems to me that it would be nice to create a cusp of magnetic forces at the center which would hold the ball with stability.)

    How does the magnetic force balance point react to closing and opening the aisles between the triangles. That is, does the ball get drawn off even more easily?

    Marking the surface of the suspended ball would show the orientation of its magnetic field.

    Depending on the orientation of the suspended balls magnetic field, perhaps a magnet or and iron particle beneath the suspended ball would help center it.

    This looks like fun.

    While the initial hexagon construction isn't patentable, modifications of the magnetic field at the center in order to stabilize it may be patentable. As I understand European patent law, if you tell everyone (or anyone) about your design without a non disclosure agreement, then you have given away your right to patent it.
  7. Jun 24, 2013 #6
    Depends on the materials used to block the isle. For Fe: yes.

    Im pretty confident it's negative to negative.

    Since noone has jumped in and said "Simpsons did it".. yet.
    Well.. either way, I filed it somewhere else first (under semi restrictive non commercial creative commons) And have a backup of my site from the day it happened. To what degree that makes me own the described diamagnet principle is unknown to me. All I know from experience the more I release the more comes right after it in the sense of good new vibes. I have some pretty neat stuff in terms of aqquired derivation, Im happy to lean on someone to get it built :)
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  8. Jul 5, 2013 #7
    Sorry for the delayed reply; I was visiting my mother.

    What I was getting at was putting an iron object between the points of the hexagon. For instance, a metal washer, or a piece cut from a soup can. The intent is to modify the magnetic field that the suspended ball sees in order to create a cusp in which it would sit. This would be one end of a magnetic bearing.

    You are bright and creative.
  9. Jul 6, 2013 #8
    Ah.. The thing I noticed is that there is a hole in the positive strong force.
    And there is a small peak in the 2nd weak force that is there from the ratio's acting on eachother.
    So the estimated picture from the side is something like so.
    Which is the thing I find hard to alter in to something else.
    Might be something to encase in a mu metal of some sort so that it sweeps up higher, (if it actually does?) I guess you can also introduce a bearing of some sort to try and damp off a bit of the field. Have to go with a gut feeling there'd be some damping on both ends.

    Attached Files:

  10. Jul 7, 2013 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Unless you gain some benefit you are not affected by patent law.

    You have published so you cannot now patent. Neither can anyone else, unless they filed some form of patent application prior to your publication.

    One is only liable to the owner of a patent from the time one is informed of the patent, whereupon one obviously stops infringing, or enters a licensing agreement.

    Don't worry about patents unless you are doing research, tooling-up to manufacture or market. A patent is an insurance policy to protect the inventor and manufacturer from competition during the early period while recouping their R&D investment.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook