A diamagnetic material produces a magnetic field that opposes an externally applied field. Normal paramagnetic materials like 'soft iron' produce a south pole when presented with a north pole, and hence attraction occurs. Instead, diamagnetic materials produce a north pole when presented with a north pole and hence repulsion occurs.

The upshot of this is that stable levitation is possible using diamagnetic materials.

Carbon, water, silver and bismuth are all noteably diamagnetic. Even people, since they are mostly made of water!

A small frog has been levitated using this principle inside an enormous Bitter electromagnet. The frog was perfectly weightless as the levitation occured at the atomic level and was well distributed within the frog.

Di`a*mag*net"ic (?), a.

Pertaining to, or exhibiting the phenomena of, diamagnetism; taking, or being of a nature to take, a position at right angles to the lines of magnetic force. See Paramagnetic.

Diamagnetic attraction. See under Attraction.


© Webster 1913.

Di`a*mag*net"ic, n.

Any substance, as bismuth, glass, phosphorous, etc., which in a field of magnetic force is differently affected from the ordinary magnetic bodies, as iron; that is, which tends to take a position at right angles to the lines of magnetic force, and is repelled by either pole of the magnet.


© Webster 1913.

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