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Pyrolytic Graphite Levitation Kit

Click Picture for Video Levitating graphite in dome

Magnets affect materials in one of three ways, attraction, non-attraction (neutral) and replusion. Diamagnetism refers to an objects weak repulsion from an magnetic field. There are no poles connected with diamagnetism. The north pole of a magnet repels the material just as well as the south pole. Just like a north pole of a magnet will attract iron just as well as the south pole. Graphite is diamagnetic. Pyrolytic graphite is 10000X more diamagnet than most common diamagnetic materials such as water. Thin slices of pyrolytic graphite are extremely light and can be made to levitate. The closest thing to a perfect diamagnetic material is a superconductor however superconductors still require liquid nitrogen to become superconductive. Whereas pyrolytic graphite can levitate at room temperature.



4 Opposing Magnets

Levitation is achieved by alternating poles to create a strong magnetic field gradient. Because diamagnetic materials are repelled by either pole, we can place the magnets with alternating north and south poles, that stick to one another and create a magnetic gradient that centers the pyrolytic graphite material. I position the magnets on a thin piece of sheet steel.

The four opposing magnets here are but one possible configuration.



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Pyrolytic Graphite is a synthetic material that is similar to graphite. It is produced by the decomposition of a hydrocarbon gas at very high temperature in a vacuum furnace. This process permits the graphite to crystallise (pyrolysis) into a layer by layer composition. Pyrolytic graphite have a single cleavage plane, similar to mica. Pyrolytic graphite exhibits the greatest diamagnetism of any room temperature solid (by weight) making it possible to levitate thin slices over rare earth magnets.

LEV-01 Kit includes (4) neodymium magnets, (1) steel base plate (1" x 1" x .036 " thick), (1) Plastic Dome and (1) Pyrolytic Graphite.

LEV-01 $49.95