Levitron: Levitating spinning top
Material needed:For the spinning top:
- 1 ring magnet R-27-16-05-N
- 1 large cork from a champagne bottle
- 1 plastic screw
- 1 glue stick for paper
- Various brass and plastic discs with varying diameters (but none larger than 27 mm = magnet diameter)
- 1 round ferrite base magnet (in my case from an old loudspeaker)
- Small wedges (e.g. flat wood pieces)
- 1 shoe carton
- 10 (empty) CD sleeves
- Wood drill with 5.5 mm diameter
- Small metal saw
- Marker or mechanical pencil
- Dividers (helpful, but not necessary)
- Accuracy scale (helpful, but not necessary)
- Grinder (helpful, but not necessary)
- Mechanic's level (helpful, but not necessary)
Assembly of the spinning top:1. Cut a straight 5 mm thick piece from the cork.
Assembly of the base:1. Carefully remove the large ferrite magnet from the old speaker. Remove all the screws. If necessary, soldered metal pieces need to be removed. Alternatively: Buy a ferrite ring magnet directly at supermagnete.ch (see note above).
Tips for the levitation:When you move the spinner in the shoe box, at a certain point, you'll feel the power of the two combined magnetic fields. The spinning top will try to break away to the side. Hold it firmly and keep moving it around slowly until it is slightly pulled towards the base. This is the right spot to start the spinning. Give it a good spin.
- The spinning top doesn't gain momentum: The two magnets are too close to each other; the shoe box needs to be propped up higher.
- The spinning top doesn't lift up at all: The two magnets are too far apart; the shoe box needs to be lowered a bit.
- The spinning top doesn't lift up and turns to the side: The ferrite base doesn't lie totally flat; small wedges need to be applied to even it out.
- The spinning top lifts up, but moves to the side and drops down: The spinner is too light; additional plastic or brass discs need to be attached (see picture below).