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Application Of Magnets For Levitation

Uploaded by Guest on Dec 22, 2005

Application Of Magnets For Levitation

In ancient times men knew of a special kind of rock that could pull other rocks of the same kind and
pieces of iron toward themselves. Such rocks were called lodestones. Today man uses the same force
exerted by electromagnets and permanent magnets to provide magnetic aide to trains and more efficient
power generators. This report will focus on the use of magnets in the generation of electricity and
magnetically aided trains.

Magnetism is defined as the force exerted by a magnetic field. A magnetic field is defined as the energy
exerted by the magnet. It is caused by the alignment of the domains (sub-atomic particles) of an object.
When the domains are lined up they produce magnetism. When the domains are not lined up then they
cause the object to be demagnetized (having no magnetic power). Materials such as air, wood, copper,
and water do not respond to the power of magnets. We then ask "Why and how is it possible to make a
magnet out of copper." Good question, and simple answer. Copper becomes magnetic when an electric
current is run through it while spiraled around a magnet. Thus it is called an electromagnet. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1 The following facts are to state the properties of magnetic force: 1. If free to rotate, permanent
magnets point approximately north-south. 2. Similar poles repel, dissimilar poles attract. 3. Permanent
magnets only attract objects with domains. 4. Magnetic forces act at a distance, moreover through
nonmagnetic barriers. 5. Things attracted to permanent magnets (other than permanent magnets) also
become temporary magnets. 6. A coil of wire with an electric current flowing through it becomes an
electromagnet. 7. Putting iron inside the coil greatly increases the strength of an electromagnet.
8.Changing magnetic fields induce electric currents in copper and other conductors.

Some people like to talk about animal magnetism as a metaphor. Most people do not know that it actually
exists. There are very weak magnetic fields around Homo-sapiens. The field can be detected by the
Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID).

Magnets play a key role in the generation of electricity. Figure two below illustrates magnets in a
generator. In order to produce electricity either the loop or the magnets must be rotated relative to one

Fig. 2 The energy for this rotation can be provided by a variety of sources. One source is water which can
be converted to steam, and is then used to drive turbines that operate generators. The energy to boil the
water and convert it to steam comes from burning coal, oil, or natural gas, or from the heat released by
controlled nuclear reactions. Rotation of the turbines may be driven by the gravitational potential energy
stored in water held behind the dam of a hydroelectric plant, by wind in wind turbines, or by the steam
produced naturally within the Earth. These alternate power sources need to be used more around the
world in order to conserve fossil fuel.

Another way to conserve is by using maglev (magnetic levitation). In 1966 British engineer Geoffrey
Polgreen, promoted the use of hard ferrites (large compounds of iron oxide) for a maglev system called
Magnarail (Livingston 96). He constructed a model from bricks of ferrite permanent magnets 12ft long
with a 28in platform 18in wide. He proposed that the system should have 5 tons of cargo, or 50 people
and, 5 tons of magnets, and should be altogether less expensive than a traditional train. One of the thing
that he left out is that what happens if a screwdriver or a hammer gets discarded onto the track. An
incident like that could result in serious consequences.

The Japanese have superconducting magnets on the cars and copper coils in the guideway. When the
electromagnet is turned on then it repels the magnets in the car. In 1977 test runs of the vehicle were
started on Kyushu (southern most island). The four mile track allowed the ML-500 to make a world train
speed record of 312mph. Other models were built afterwards with varying modifications.
The United States also proposed a maglev system in the 1970s called
Magnaplane. It was designed by Henry Kolm and Richard Thornton at
MIT. A 1/25 model was made but funding was cut by congress. This
new form of transportation may arrive late due to "perpetual"
congressional gridlock.

The Germans also have their own magsusp (magnetic suspension), not
maglev, system called Transrapid. The bottoms of the cars are
wrapped around a T-shaped track, and attracted up to a 3/8 inch servo-
controlled gap. Propulsion is caused by the magnets similar to Japan's
MLs. The program began in 1969, and the latest prototype is the
Transrapid 07 (Fig. 4), which reached a top speed of 310mph only
11mph under the Japanese MLU002N (Fig. 5).

Fig. 4 Transrapid expects to build a rail line linking Hamburg and Berlin. The cost for the project is
estimated at $6 billion (U.S.), "two thirds of which will be provided by the government" (Livingston 96). On
a 180-mile track the trains should reach speeds of over 250mph, and cover the distance in less than a

Fig.5 The "experiment" so to speak, displays the basic principle of maglev. Materials used were 4 triangle
magnets, 2 "doughnut" magnets and a sharpened pencil. All of the triangle magnets are faced the same
way. The pencil is then sharpened and taped at the parts where the magnets will be (enough so that the
magnet won't slide off). The doughnut magnets are then placed on the taped ends, with the doughnut
magnets' poles facing the same direction as the respective triangles'. The pencil with magnets is then
hovered over the triangle magnets with the sharpened end of the pencil resting on the board.

This array displays the near frictionless environment that these maglev and magsusp trains operate in.
even though these trains use electric power, the amount used is much less than that of electric trains and
other electric vehicles.

Using a maglev or magsusp system give the world a faster means of transportation. Magnetic systems
will help us to conserve electric energy. In using magnetic systems we must also be careful not to deplete
the supply of permanent magnets like the depletion of fossil fuels.

Animal Magnetism
by author Michelle Lynde, ClH

For thousands of years, magnets have been used to treat everything from general fatigue, pain and circulatory
problems to stimulating the flow of energy to needed parts of the body. Recently there has been a resurgence of
this safe, simple and inexpensive healing modality, but not just for humans.Pet owners are now seeing the health
benefits of using magnets for their cats, dogs and horses with no harmful side-effects.

The founder of modern magnetic health research is Dr. Kyoichi Nakagawa. His studies began in the 1950s, and, in
1976, he published an article in the Japan Medical Journal claiming that the strength of the earth’s natural
magnetic field has decreased considerably and is being further reduced by steel buildings, cars, high voltage
power lines and other manmade electrical fields. As a result, people and animals are suffering from symptoms
such as fatigue, aches and pains, muscle cramps and insomnia, which he termed “magnetic field deficiency
syndrome.” Dr. Nakagawa’s clinical studies showed that these symptoms were alleviated by the external
application of magnets to the body. In the last 20 years or so, many magnetic devices have been developed based
on his research, including ones specifically designed for animals.

How do Magnets Work?

Permanent magnets, also called static magnets, are usually constructed of a combination of iron, nickel, cobalt,
aluminum, ceramic and neodymium, and are "magnetized" by placing them near a coil of wire to which a large,
brief pulse of direct electrical current is applied. Therapeutic permanent magnets usually range from 200 to 3,000
gauss, a measurement of the density of
magnetic lines of force. The higher the gauss number, the more powerful the magnet. Larger animals require
therapy with more magnetic strength than smaller animals, simply because of their greater body mass.
There are two types of permanent magnets, unipolar and bipolar. One of the most controversial topics today
among magnet therapists and researchers is which type is more effective therapeutically. Unipolar refers to a
healing magnet manufactured in bars or beads with a north pole on one surface and a south pole on the opposite
surface. Most manufacturers mark the north and south poles for proper application–north pole facing the body and
the south pole facing away.

Bipolar magnets are the most recent addition to the magnetics field and are designed so that both the north and
south poles face the body. They are usually made in long strips, cut to specific shapes and laid down parallel to
each other or in concentric circles so that, when placed on the body, both the north and south poles come in
contact with the animal.

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy systems (PEMF) are also gaining widespread use. The battery powered,
portable devices generate a pulsating electromagnetic field and are used extensively in equine sports medicine
primarily to treat acute and chronic leg and neck injuries and for maintenance therapy of chronic musculoskeletal
conditions. PEMF therapy sessions generally last from 30 to 60 minutes.

Clinical Applications

Magnets are quickly becoming a popular method of treating localized and chronic conditions in pets. They can be
safely used on their own or combined with alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbs or massage-especially
when the goal is reduction of inflammation and associated pain. It is believed that magnets accelerate the healing
process by increasing blood flow to the capillaries that bring more nutrients and oxygen to the injured area and
also by increasing the activity of phagocytes, specialized cells that remove toxins, repair tissue and counteract the
inflammation that causes pain.

Since magnets can also increase endorphin levels, the body’s natural pain relievers, conditions such as
degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, vertebral disorders, sprains, lameness and
tendonitis all benefit from a daily, general application of magnets. Dr. Michael Strazza’s 1996 article in the Journal
of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association reported a 40 to 50 percent reduction in the healing time of
simple fractures by placing a magnet inside the bandage. This meant that dogs could bear their own weight
sooner. He also achieved positive responses in 60 to 70 percent of dogs with spinal arthritis and paralysis, chronic
disk disease, hip dysplasia and senior dogs whose movements were stiff and slow after exercise.

Most experts believe that, while magnetic therapy is safe, the use of magnetic products should be avoided with
fresh injuries, pregnant females and internal bleeding. Applying magnets in the area of implanted metal plates and
screws should also be avoided. Many practitioners also discourage the use of bipolar magnets on cancerous
growths and for acute viral and bacterial infections.

The challenge in using magnets on pets is keeping them in place. Convenient unipolar collars and wraps
specifically designed for shoulder, hip and knee use are made of flexible material and secured with adjustable
Velcro closures that still allow the animal to move around freely. Bipolar blankets and pads embedded with
magnets work well for cats and horses. Another option is to create a quiet environment for you and your pet and
hold the magnets in place over the affected area. Practitioners generally recommend applying the magnet for 10 to
20 minute periods daily until the pain or inflammation subsides.

Pet owners should always consult with a veterinarian to determine an accurate diagnosis for persistent or acute
problems that could require more than magnetic therapy. However, when used correctly, there is enough evidence
to support its use for pain relief and speeding recovery from injuries and other traumas. It may also offer more
subtle and long-lasting benefits by restoring balance to the body.

Michelle Lynde is a clinical herbalist specializing in botanical and nutritional support for people and pets. She is co-
owner of the canadian Holistic pet Care Company. E-mail