Name: Sam J.
I am tring to find out a good diamagnetic material for
magnetic levatation. I know that Bismuth is the best diamagnetic
material. But with respect to Carbon-Graphite. I have seen experaments
using this and it works well. I was wondering if you could use just
carbon or just graphite, and what would work better. Is it a combination
of carbon and graphite that works best or is one just a filler? Would
using just carbon work better, or just graphite I also heard that the
more dense the carbon is, the better it works. I just tring to find the
best combination to use that will levatate the best. I plan on getting
the matrial in tile form so I can cover a desk and levatate a magnet over
Actually, graphite IS carbon. Carbon-Graphite is carbon in graphite form.
Carbon atoms tend to join together in one of three patterns, depending on
how hard they are pressed together. Under very high pressure, carbon will
form a crystal pattern people like to call diamond. Under more mediocre
conditions, carbon tends to form coal. If presed together very lightly,
often when deposited near the surface, carbon tends to form a pattern called
Graphite is a pattern of sheets laid on top of sheets. The carbon atoms
form a sheet of hexagons, each carbon joined to three other carbons. Since
carbon can bond with four atoms, the fourth connection extends up or down
from the sheet for each atom. This joins to an atom in an adjacent sheet.
Graphite has very weak bonds and a great deal of open space. This is what
makes it such a wonderful substance to put inside a pencil. When you write
with a pencil, you deposit carbon atoms on the paper.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
The only way you will be able to actually get the magnet to levitate
indefinitely is to use a superconductor as the diamagnet. Otherwise the
eddy currents induced in the diamagnet will fade due to electrocal
resistance, allowing the magnet to approach ever closer.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012