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Mysterious rotation trick makes magnets float in the air

A few years ago, researchers discovered that a rapidly rotating magnet will cause other nearby magnets to levitate, and they have now worked out why

By Karmela Padavic-Callaghan

20 October 2023

There is a simple way to levitate magnets – and physicists are beginning to understand how it works. The technique could have applications for robotics in the future.

In 2021, Hamdi Ucar – then at Göksal Aeronautics in Turkey – posted a YouTube video showing two magnetic spheres levitating on either side of a rapidly spinning bar magnet that was positioned with its north-south poles oriented vertically. Ucar also published a paper on the phenomenon, which attracted the attention of Rasmus Bjørk at the Technical University of Denmark.

With a colleague, Bjørk decided to replicate Ucar’s levitation technique. “We sat down …

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