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Peter Nordquist Here

  1. Nov 2, 2014 #1
    I majored in physics for 1 year at RPI (Troy NY) in 1974, but found more important things to do for many years thereafter, and have recently returned to college, first at ITT-Tech(Computer Electronic Technology) and then Sage College of Albany (Computer Information Systems) and am in my last two courses now. Here is a link to my short (27 seconds) video of my Capstone Magnetic Levitation project at ITT-Tech that I finished in Dec. 2012. I am currently connecting the electromagnet to an Arduino board with the PID algorithm available at the Arduino site.

    There are many physics questions to ask about magnetism that would be nice to have a clear answer to. One of these concerns the nature of the photons exchanged. Photons supposedly are the particles that mediate the electromagnetic force. Therefore I wonder what the frequency of the photons involved in magnetism is. I recall reading that they are virtual photons. Then do virtual photons have an energy or a frequency and a wavelength?

    Peter Nordquist
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2014 #2
  4. Nov 2, 2014 #3


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome :)

    The description with photons can be useful sometimes - but certainly not in a project with large magnets. Virtual particles won't help there, and they do not have a proper energy or wavelength.
  5. Nov 3, 2014 #4
    Thanks for the comment. Specifically about the magnetic levitation project, my capstone team at ITT-Tech (2012) was surprised to find that the instability, which we initially overcame by tweaking the analog controller board with capacitors, popped right back in as soon as the Hall Effect sensors blew out in an experiment and we had to replace them. This showed us that it wasn't the circuit itself that needed to be changed, but more fundamentally we needed more consistent part to part Hall Effect sensors. Therefore in the present incarnation of the project, I am about to try GMR magnetic field sensors in the hope that they will produce a better result, and instead of optocouplers in the environment of high voltage that we are pulsing the electromagnet with, I am trying the GMR alternative.

    Advantages of the microcontroller board will be that changes of weight and distance of the object levitated will be dealt with in software rather than optimized by component changes on an analog controller board.
  6. Nov 3, 2014 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi Peter, this is just to say hi, please post questions or discussions in the proper forum, thanks!
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