Lenz's Law Levitation

With the use of very strong neodymium button magnets it is possible to generate eddy current forces equal to the weight of the magnet. While this can be done by moving the magnet or the conductor, the visual impact of a floating magnet makes the moving conductor a much more dramatic option.

The magnet is attached to a hinge, which is clamped to a support rod. An aluminum pot lid is mounted on the shaft of a variable speed rotator using the handle hole in the center. With the pot lid at rest, the hinge with magnet is lowered until it rests on the top of the lid. When the rotator is turned on, the magnet initially scrapes the pot lid very audibly. As the speed increases, the eddy current effect increases until the magnet lifts off the lid and floats quietly about half an inch above the spinning lid. Without appropriate base clamps, the rotator and magnet quickly move out of place due to the lateral forces that are present along with the obvious vertical force. If these forces are of interest, the equipment can be left unclamped. For large classes a video camera and projector can be used.