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Levitating Globe project

  1. Mar 4, 2013 #1

    I am a student and this semester I am doing a project in Experimental Physics class. We plan to make a levitating globe! We have already researched on methods of overcoming Earnshaw's theorem and chose two:

    1) Using eddy currents to stabilize an object (conductor)
    More or less simple design, but requires too much voltage.
    2) Using a feedback circuit to control the strength of the electromagnet.
    We have already found some SOP and will research more and figure out by ourselves. This 2nd method is currently chosen as the main one.

    But I have been thinking about levitrons and how they use gyroscopic motion to create the equilibrium point... Usually it requires a spinning top, which is not convenient since we need to have a globe. But I was thinking about gyroscopes and this idea fascinates me.

    Is it possible to somehow install a gyroscope inside the globe to stabilize the levitation? Is there sort of a gyroscope that doesn't need to be spinned beforehand like spinning tops?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2013 #2


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    - Spinning magnets as support should be possible
    - A spinning interior for a static globe... I think that needs an additional motor in the globe, and it sounds tricky to balance.
  4. Mar 4, 2013 #3
    Spinning magnets? By "support" you mean as a base or the globe?.. Because I think the globe is supposed to be static...
    I guess we'll stick to the feedback systems, they require some soldering and more calculations but seem to provide more stability.

    Thank you for the reply!
  5. Mar 4, 2013 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    The base, which allows levitation of the globe.
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