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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Graphite platform levitates without power

• New Atlas

If you've ever tried to push two magnets of the same charge together, you'll understand the repulsive force at work. If the magnetic field is strong enough, objects made of certain materials (known as diamagnetic materials) can be made to effectively levitate above surfaces – which can be seen in plenty of showy levitating commercial products, from clocks to lamps to speakers. Higher-end tech uses superconductors to levitate heavier objects, enabling maglev vehicles that travel at high speeds with little friction.

The problem with all of these is that they require external power sources, and in the case of superconductors, close to cryogenic temperatures. So for the new study, scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) developed a low-cost material that can levitate above magnetic surfaces with no need for power.