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Q & A: magnetic levitation

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Most recent answer: 08/15/2020
Q:
Hi - i have a couple of questions (to lower the amount of posts)1 - Weirdest of all - i remember when i was a child (between 5>9 i have this memory) sometimes - at random points i would hear sound (talking/nature/life/etc) *sped up* no one could explain why - but it happened quite a few times in this time period - what was it?2 - i heard that it was known - concerning gravity vs magnetism - that magnetism isn't in any way strong enough to keep us from *falling through the pavement* (meaning essentially that atoms are as thin as web or silk/paper and we should be falling through the universe because its impossible for *magenetism* to hold our collective weight? - Has this been debunked or do you still *not know*?Cheers
- Barney (age 39)
Isle of Man
A:

I think the sped-up sound is a psychological phenomenon, not a physical one.

I'm not sure what magnetism has to do with why we don't fall throuh the pavement.  If everything were made of classical masses, magnets, and charges, Earnshaw's theorem says that there wouldn't be any stable arrangement. Everything would collapse. In reality, everything is made of quantum objects, which have non-classical properties. The inability of one class of these particles, fermions, to have multiple particles in the same state keeps things from collapsing. We're made of fermions: protons, neutrons, and electrons and so is the pavement.

Mke W.


(published on 08/15/2020)

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