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Physically spinning magnets

  1. Jan 14, 2013 #1
    They have the spin top magnet that you spin on top of a platform, which by effect causes it to appear to float. Is the effect any different if you spin the platform instead?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2013 #2


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    I think I know the trick you are referring to. The magnet will flip over unless it is, itself, spinning (like a gyroscope) - which you will have discovered for yourself; spinning the base has no effect at all. There is a theorem that tells us you can't have a stable system of magnetic levitation with simple magnetic materials (ferromagnetic) but there are arrangements of magnets which include Diamagnetic Materials and these are stable.
    Using a superconductor, you can achieve stable levitation - as long as you keep the superconductor cold enough!
    Do a bit of googling using some of the above terms and you will find some good pictures and movies.
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