A classroom demonstration of levitation and suspension of a superconductor over a magnetic track

  title={A classroom demonstration of levitation and suspension of a superconductor over a magnetic track},
  author={C. P. Strehlow and Matthew C. Sullivan},
  journal={American Journal of Physics},
The suspension and levitation of superconductors by permanent magnets is a fascinating consequence of superconductivity, and a wonderful way to generate interest in low-temperature physics and electrodynamics. We present a classroom demonstration of the levitation/suspension of a superconductor over a magnetic track that maximizes the levitation/suspension time and the separation distance between the magnetic track and superconductor. The demonstration, as described, is both inexpensive and… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Magnetic levitation on a type-I superconductor as a practical demonstration experiment for students
We describe and discuss an experimental set-up which allows undergraduate and graduate students to view and study magnetic levitation on a type-I superconductor. The demonstration can be repeated
Motion of a superconducting loop in an inhomogeneous magnetic field: a didactic experiment
We present an experiment conductive to an understanding of both Faraday's law and the properties of the superconducting state. It consists in the analysis of the motion of a superconducting loop
Experimenting with a superconducting levitation train
The construction and operation of a prototype high- T c superconducting train model is presented. The train is levitated by a melt-processed GdBa 2 Cu 3 O x (Gd-123) superconducting material over a
Superperconductors, Their History and Applications
  • Adem Beriso
  • Physics
    Advances in Physics Theories and Applications
  • 2019
The phenomenon of zero resistance below certain low temperature (critical temperature) leads to limitless current which implies that no dissipation in electrical energy for this occurrence. This
High school students analyzing the phenomenology of superconductivity and constructing models of the Meissner effect
Superconductivity offers many opportunities to explore a relevant phenomenology interesting for students because perceived as a challenge stimulating the construction of models, activating a critical
Introduction of Contemporary Physics to Pre-university Education


Understanding stable levitation of superconductors from intermediate electromagnetics
Levitation experiments with superconductors in the Meissner state are hindered by low stability except for specifically designed configurations. In contrast, magnetic force experiments with strongly
A Double-Decker Levitation Experiment Using a Sandwich of Superconductors.
The authors have found that the mutual repulsion that enables a superconductor to levitate a magnet and a magnet to levitate a superconductor can be combined in a single demonstration using a
Measuring the interaction force between a high temperature superconductor and a permanent magnet
Repulsive and attractive forces are both possible between a superconducting sample and a permanent magnet, and they can give rise to magnetic levitation or free-suspension phenomena, respectively. We
Rigid levitation and suspension of high‐temperature superconductors by magnets
A high‐Tc superconductor floating freely above a magnet of low symmetry remains rigidly suspended in the air in almost any position and orientation as if stuck in an invisible heap of sand. This
Magnetic levitation for hard superconductors
An approach for calculating the interaction between a hard superconductor and a permanent magnet in the field-cooled case is proposed. The exact solutions were obtained for the point magnetic dipole
Superconductor and magnet levitation devices
This article reviews levitation devices using superconductors and magnets. Device concepts and their applications such as noncontact bearings, flywheels, and momentum wheels are discussed, following
Friction in levitated superconductors
A type I superconductor levitated above a magnet of low symmetry has a unique equilibrium position about which it may oscillate freely. In contrast, a type II superconductor has a continuous range of
Magnetic levitation
Magnetic levitation is a way of using electromagnetic fields to levitate objects without any noise. It employs diamagnetism, which is an intrinsic property of many materials referring to their
A small Maglev car model using YBCO bulk superconductors
Models of two small Maglev cars have been made. The track was paved with NdFeB magnets. The arrangement of the magnets made it easy to get a uniform magnetic field distribution along the length of
Diamagnetically stabilized magnet levitation
Stable levitation of one magnet by another with no energy input is usually prohibited by Earnshaw’s theorem. However, the introduction of diamagnetic material at special locations can stabilize such