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Q & A: floating magnets?

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Most recent answer: 07/04/2018
Q:
by putting two magnets of same pole upside down can it could be made to float ib air in similar way it was kept .if upper magnet is equally divided into 3 parts as in 1st in South pole 2nd in North Pole3rd in South poleand the lower magnet kept fully in north pole.can it could be made it to float and to move with velocity?
- Satyam rathore (age 19)
varanasi,uttar pradesh,india
A:

It turns out that won't work. Earnshaw's theorem says that any combination of magnets and gravity will not be stable. There will be some way that the system will collapse.  To get stability you need some material that repels magnetic fields regardless of how they point. Standard superconductors do that, and they can be used with magnets to make things float.

Mike W.


(published on 07/04/2018)

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