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News Picks : Magnetic levitation and rotation of nonmagnetic objects

By: Physics Today
26 August 2014

BBC: Delicate nonmagnetic objects with arbitrary shapes are hard to manipulate. Now, Anand Bala Subramaniam of Harvard University and his colleagues have developed a way to suspend and rotate such objects. They placed them in a paramagnetic liquid inside a chamber with magnets above and below it. Because the liquid is attracted to the magnets, its density increases near the top and bottom of the chamber. The object “floats” in the less dense area in the middle. Subramaniam and his colleagues found that by rotating the magnets, or by introducing an external magnet and moving it around the chamber, they could rotate the object within the fluid. The team’s next step is to attempt to manipulate multiple objects and assemble them into a single piece.


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