Floating Magnet

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Project by fissionchips posted 09-03-2011 09:21 PM 2651 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Floating Magnet
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It turns out that it’s impossible to levitate a magnet free-air, thanks to Earnshaw's Theorem. This project gets around that problem with a few guiderails. I used some old bulky speaker magnets to make this, one in the base and two in the capsule (with polarities reversed to repel). When pushed up or down and released, the weight bounces up and down.

It would be fun to machine a version with smooth sliding bearings, as friction is the only dissipating force for the harmonic motion of the weight.

5 comments so far

View hasbeen's profile


91 posts in 2681 days

#1 posted 09-04-2011 01:25 AM

Greetings from the socialist capital of America – California.

I like it a lot, but would appreciate information on parts beesides speakers.

Moreno Valley’s local has-been
Servant of the Living God.

-- I may not have a lot of good ideas, but some of them are just incredible.

View techjoey's profile


12 posts in 2462 days

#2 posted 09-04-2011 02:50 AM

I like this alot also….. I see this as one of those distracting, thought provoking, desktop items, similar to the suspended ball bearing, kinetic energy models. Additional views would be nice. Maybe one from the side showing the levitation height. I suppose if it had to be made to have a practical purpose, you could have the silver colored rings machined in such a way that they hold photos. But I like it as it is… Nicely done!

-- - No design is perfect - That's why pencils have erasers -

View StumpyNubs's profile


7590 posts in 2796 days

#3 posted 09-04-2011 02:48 PM

Interesting… if I put enough magnets on my refrigerator, will it move up and down?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Razorbak91313's profile


89 posts in 2640 days

#4 posted 09-04-2011 10:37 PM

Well, one quick way to reduce the friction to is to put a curve on the metal bands of the capsule. If you could find a band that bulged out so that the middle of the band was sticking out a little further then the top and bottom. Then you would just have a small surface contact with the middle of the band and the rods.

Or design a new setup that used a single rod through the middle of the capsule to holp it in place rather then 4 outside rods.

-- Turning good wood into even better wood jewelry.

View helluvawreck's profile


31044 posts in 2862 days

#5 posted 10-11-2017 12:25 PM

Wow! What a great conversation piece. Warning: if a business person who talks to a good many people across the desk he had better not put this project on his desk. If he does then it is guaranteed to be a great big waster of time.

This is a wonderful project and very creative and nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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