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Magnetic Field for Levitation

  1. Dec 3, 2013 #1
    If it is possible to calculate the earth's magnetic field at a given point (ranging between 0.25 to 0.65 Gauss), can an opposing field be created to lift an object? If the natural magnetic field is not strong enough, can it be amplified to the required level? My question is leading to whether a device could be created to amplify the natural magnetic field and a second device could be created to levitate above it carrying any given weight. The ground device would increase the amplification dependent upon the force requirements of the upper device's weight load. This leads to my second question, if the above is possible, would the ground device "feel" the full weight of the upper device? For example, if the ground amplification device weighs 10 lbs and the weight on the upper device is 100 lbs, would a person pushing the devices in unison require the force to push 10 lbs or 100? Thank you for your help in my hypothetical quest.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2013 #2


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    Kenbigdeal, Welcome to Physics Forums!

    Can you think of any mechanism to “amplify” the earth’s magnetic field? I cannot. Here is a paper about simulating the earth’s magnetic field (the geodynamo) in the laboratory, and it does mention “...spiral motion in well-conducting fluids, like liquid metals, can amplify seed magnetic fields to generate dynamo action.” Be careful to not confuse that process with “amplifying the earth’s magnetic field”. which seems you have done.

    Naturwissenschaften. 2000 Sep;87(9):381-90.
    Can the earth's magnetic field be simulated in the laboratory?
    Müller U, Stieglitz R.
    Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technologies (IKET), Germany.
    Today it is generally accepted that the Earth's magnetic field, as well as that of many other planets, is generated by buoyancy driven convection in the electrically conducting liquid cores of these rotating celestial bodies. The conversion of mechanical energy into electromagnetic energy is known as the dynamo effect. In contrast to technical dynamos, which utilize the rotational motion of a complex arrangement of wire coils and other materials of different electrical and magnetic properties, the geodynamo is based on a freely developing spiral flow in a practically homogeneous, electrically conducting liquid core domain, and is therefore termed a homogeneous dynamo. This report outlines some fundamental properties of the Earth's magnetic field. The structure of the spiral flow in the liquid interior of planets is explained with the help of some model experiments in rapidly rotating spherical shells, which were carried out by Busse and Carrigan (1974). Based on the main ideas of electromagnetism it is shown that spiral motion in well-conducting fluids, like liquid metals, can amplify seed magnetic fields to generate dynamo action. Starting from the conjectured flow structure in the Earth's interior, a conceptional and engineering design is described for a laboratory dynamo experiment. Some details of the construction of the test facility and first experimental results are presented and discussed.

    It may be of interest that a commercially available Hall-effect sensor that can measure the earth’s magnetic field exist, and connect directly to your laptop, etc.

    Magnetic Field Sensor
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