Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields. The electromagnetic forceis used to counteract the effects of thegravitational force.Earnshaw's theorem proves that using only static ferromagnetism it is impossible tostably levitate against gravity
as required for stable equilibrium. Earnshaw's theorem canbe viewed as a consequence of the Maxwell equations, whichdo not allow the magnitude of a magnetic field in a free space to possess a maximum
ut servomechanisms, the use of diamagnetic materials or superconductor permit this to occur. For a particle to be in a stableequilibrium, small perturbations ("pushes") on the particle in any direction should not break the equilibrium; the particle should "fall back" to its previous position. Thismeans that the force field lines around the particle's equilibrium position should all point inwards, towards that position. If all of the surrounding field lines point towardsthe equilibrium point, then the divergence of the field at that point must be negative(i.e. that point acts as a sink). However, Gauss's Law says that the divergence of any possible electric force field is zero in free space.
iamagnets (which respond tomagnetic fields with mild repulsion) are known to flout the theorem, as their negativesusceptibility results in the requirement of a minimum rather than a maximum in thefield¶s magnitude. Stable levitation has been demonstrated for diamagnetic objectssuch as superconducting pellets and live creatures. Strong diamagnetism of superconductors allows the situation to be reversed, so that a magnet can belevitated above a superconductor.We set out to lift a magnet by applying a magnetic field and then stabilizing theintrinsically unstable equilibrium with repulsive forces from a nearby diamagnetic material.
iamagnetic levitation can be used to levitate very light pieces of pyrolytic graphite or bismuth above a moderately strong permanent magnet. As water is predominantly diamagnetic, this technique has been used to levitate water dropletsand even live animals, such as a grasshopper and a frog. However, the magnetic