The fact that same magnetic poles repel
each other is the base for design of many industrial equipments.
Repelling magnets are often part of another electrical or mechanical
system. When you attempt to move the North pole of one magnet toward the
North pole of another magnet, initially the other magnet may be pushed
away, but soon it flips over and the South pole of that face and attract
Many studies have been done on
levitating objects with magnetic force, however it is now proven that
100% levitation for a non moving object is impossible. Partial
levitation is now used in construction of high speed magnetic trains.
Many other instruments and equipment also use repelling properties of
Following are some of the projects that
can be made using magnets with same poles facing each other. They are
all applications of magnet levitation.
In this project you will make a set of
magnet rings to float above each other while their balance is maintained
using a wood dowel. You will then examine the flexibility of the
floating rings and propose uses for such a floating set of rings.
You will need a base board, a 6"
wood dowel or pencil and six ring ceramic magnets, make sure that the
wood dowel or pencil fits the hole in the center of magnets. Also try to
get painted magnets. A layer of paint will protect ceramic magnets from chipping.
Mount the pencil or wood dowel
vertically in the center of the base board. If you use glue, you will
need to wait a few hours until the glue is fully dry. Place the first
ring magnet over the wood dowel and let it go down. Get a second magnet
and bring it close to the first magnet to feel the magnetic forces and
find out which two poles repel each other. Then insert this magnet in a
way that when it gets to the first magnet, same poles are faced each
other and two magnets will repel. So the second magnet will float.
|Continue these steps
with the other four magnets. Finally you will have 6 ceramic ring
magnets on a column that can freely move up and down, but gravity
force is not able to pull them down because the same poles of
magnets are facing each other. Push the upper magnet down. How
much force do you need to put all magnets together? Now release
it. What happens? Why?
Can you use this magnet
levitation model to make other products?
One of the ideas have been a
magnetic spring scale. As you see a clear plastic tube is placed
above the upper magnet. Then another plastic tray is placed above
the plastic tube. You may use a paper tube and a paper tray
instead. When weight is placed on the tray, the tray goes down.
The amount that it moves depends on the amount of weight. A piece
of paper is used as the indicator hand. Also a Popsicle stick is
used to mark the weight.
As you see most of the material
can be replaced by other material that you may have around your
This is a good science project for
ages 6 to 13.
In your kit you must have received a
set of ring magnets, a wooden base and a wood dowel.