Magnetic Levitation

Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields. Magnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational acceleration and any other accelerations. The two primary issues involved in magnetic levitation are lifting force: providing an upward force sufficient to counteract gravity, and stability: ensuring that the system does not spontaneously slide or flip into a configuration where the lift is neutralized. Magnetic levitation is used for maglev trains, contactless melting, magnetic bearings and for product display purposes.

Magnetic materials and systems are able to attract or press each other apart or together with a force dependent on the magnetic field and the area of the magnets, For example, the simplest example of lift would be a simple dipole magnet positioned in the magnetic field of another dipole magnet, oriented with like poles facing each other, so that the force between magnets repels the two magnets.

Essentially all types of magnets have been used to generate lift for magnetic levitation; permanent magnets, electromagnets, ferromagnetism, diamagnetism, superconducting magnets and magnetism due to induced currents in conductors.

For successful levitation and control of all 6 axes (degrees of freedom; 3 translational and 3 rotational) a combination of permanent magnets and electromagnets or diamagnets or superconductors as well as attractive and repulsive fields can be used. From Earnshaw's theorem at least one stable axis must be present for the system to levitate successfully, but the other axes can be stabilized using ferromagnetism. The primary ones used in maglev trains are servo-stabilized electromagnetic suspension (EMS), electrodynamic suspension (EDS).

Read the full history of magnetic levitation at Wikipedia by clicking here.



Magnetic Levitation in the News
Read the latest news articles about Magnetic Levitation on our News page.
Top News Items

Hovering Questions About Magnetic Levitation
We tried to position one magnet over another by pitting their repellent forces against each other but [K&J Magnetics] explains why this will never work and how levitation can be done with ... continued..
China builds first “permanent magnetic levitation” test track
The Chinese government says it has completed an 800m-long rail track to test “permanent magnetic levitation” (PML) technology. The “Rainbow” line was built in Xingguo county, Jiangxi province to ... continued..
China’s first permanent magnetic levitation train ’Xingguo’ completed: report
China’s first permanent magnetic levitation train “Xingguo” is completed after passing its debugging stage experimentation, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Tuesday. The X ... continued..
Building A Levitating Turbine Desk Toy
Magnetic levitation is a beautiful thing to watch. Seeing small objects wobble about while seemingly hovering in thin air never gets old. If you want something suitably distracting in this vein ... continued..

Latest Mag Lev Videos
Check out all the latest Youtube videos about magnetic levitation on our Videos page.

I think this is the largest gap maglev seen on YouTube. Currently 130 mm height from surface (hello Crealev), still working on it to improve stability and achieve 200 mm and more. continued..
This is a frictionless bearing made out of common items and low cost magnets. I found the magnets from Radio Shack. continued..
Once you have completed this project you won't believe your eyes that it is actually working. A top can not only spin, but also hang in the air for a few minutes balancing a few inches above surface. This DIY project explains how to implement and tune a spin-stabilized magnetic levitation. You will find out how to make continued..
Suspending a superconducting disc above or below a set of permanent magnets. The magnetic field is locked inside the superconductor ; a phenomenon called 'Quantum Trapping'. continued..
Can two awesome neodymium magnets levitate a grown man? Watch this video to see if the huge magnets featured in our previous video (Super-strong neodymium magnets crushing a man's hand - http://youtu.be/0t8yDnyOaQ8) can levitate a grown man when they are used to repel each other. continued..

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