Pyrolytic graphite

Magnetic levitation using pyrolytic graphite

Can ob­jects lev­i­tate? And melt ice with a sin­gle touch? Py­rolyt­ic graphite can!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Ob­serve cau­tion when work­ing with neodymi­um mag­nets.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • neodymi­um mag­nets (1x1 cm);
  • py­rolyt­ic graphite;
  • iron sheet;
  • ice cube;
  • pa­per.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

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!

Process de­scrip­tion

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.