Magnetic levitation using pyrolytic graphite
Can objects levitate? And melt ice with a single touch? Pyrolytic graphite can!
Observe caution when working with neodymium magnets.
Reagents and equipment:
- neodymium magnets (1x1 cm);
- pyrolytic graphite;
- iron sheet;
- ice cube;
Place a piece of pyrolytic graphite on some neodymium magnets. The pyrolytic graphite should levitate! You can try pushing the pyrolytic graphite along the magnet, or forcing it downwards with a wooden stick – it will resist. Use the piece of pyrolytic graphite to cut an ice cube. The pyrolytic graphite will cut through the ice like a hot knife through butter!
Pyrolytic graphite commands a unique ability to magnetically levitate. If introduced to a magnetic field, it will be suspended there – that is, levitating. When acted on by an outer magnetic field, pyrolytic graphite creates its own field to oppose it. Pyrolytic graphite also conducts heat efficiently – it melts ice easily as it conducts the heat from the hands holding it. You can use a piece of iron for comparison – in contrast to the pyrolytic graphite, iron struggles to cut the ice.