‘Levitation’ is a wonderful thing and who would have thought that this beautiful physical phenomena would have undergone lots many failures before it became a success. I have given a lot of thought about the Levitation process and made sense to me on why something would just bob up in air and stay that way as long as your forces cancel out. But i have to say that it is definitely one of the coolest toys you could get 🙂
Anyone with even a casual interest in physics has to be amazed. For more than 150 years, such levitation was “known” to be impossible. An 1842 paper by the Rev. Samuel Earnshaw in an English scientific journal had effectively proved mathematically that stationary levitation would never be achieved using only ordinary permanent magnets. “Earnshaw’s theorem” is stated in many college textbooks on electricity and magnetism. But this hasn’t stopped thousands of people (including yours truly) from spending countless futile hours trying to achieve such levitation anyway. (Earnshaw’s theorem does not deny the possibility of levitation using “diamagnetic” materials, superconductors or active electromagnetic circuits. The big surprise is the achievement of levitation using just ordinary permanent magnets.)
Here’s a picture which i presume is a levitating, rotating globe in mid air !
Read more at the site about how the patent for it became a failure just because the inventor did not have enough money to advertise his invention. No one even seems to be bothered that he found a way to defy a proven theory in existence for well over 150 years. The article also goes on to talk about how someone with a better marketing idea just shamelessly stole the invention to make profit ! Well maybe all is fair in business …
Here’s the official website that sells Levitron, the amazing anti-gravity top that rotates in air ! There is a video on the site which is cool too … Check’em out. Now if only i can find something about the magnetic levitation principle on which those japanese super-fast trains work, i could become another enthused levitron physicist !