MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Can a closed coil be levitated above an AC electromagnet?

Date: Sat Mar 18 11:01:40 2000
Posted by Jesse Urban
Grade level: 10-12 School: Martin County High School
City: Palm City State/Province: FL Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 953398900.Ph

I know how a conductive disk (pie pan), made from such materials as 
aluminum or copper, can be levitated above a powerful AC electromagnet.  
But can the disk be replaced by another coil, which is short-circuited, (to 
create closed loop) and has many windings for large impedance to limit the 
induced current?  Now, instead of many isolated eddie currents forming, a 
single current should be induced.  Yet I don't know if stability, and 
therefore levitation, can still be achieved.  And now for my real question: 
If it's possible, would the levitation force be greater (i.e., able to bear 
more weight) because the single current generates a larger counter magnetic 
field than does the eddie currents?  Also, depending on your answer, I 
might attempt this experiment; any advice?  Especially on what frequency 
the primary AC electromagnet should operate on (I'm hoping 60 Hz will work 
because I can adjust and get up to 13 kilowatts out of my stove and oven). 

Re: Can a closed coil be levitated above an AC electromagnet?

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