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Hi! Thanks again for the textbook. I have been doing a project refering to diamagnetism. I need to demonstrate diamagnetism in a experiment. I want to levitate, or be able to move, a sample of bismuth. I need information on how I can do that, on how I can calculate mathematically to lift a sample of bismuth. I could really use your help. Thanks.
Question Date: 2008-07-08
Answer 1:

Bismuth is too heavy to be supported by its own diamagnetism using permanent magnets. Graphite has much stronger diamagnetism and much less weight and it still only levitates 1-2mm above a set of magnets. It's much easier to levitate a small magnet between two pieces of bismuth with a 2nd magnet nearby.See, for example, the discussion in

There's also a detailed description of diamagnetic levitation at

They even levitated slices of pizza! (Though they don't show pictures.) Unfortunately, they needed a 20 Tesla magnet.

Answer 2:

I did find an article on the web though which might be interesting for you, especially since it addresses your envisioned "application". See

There are two things that are important for you to realize, one is that diamagnetic forces are small. The other is that a homogenous field will not generate a force on a spherical particle of bismuth or another diamagnetic material. Rod-shaped objects will align in a homogenous field, and an in-homogenous field will generate a force. Any "formula", which I think you are looking for, will be in a mathematical form that is very complex, since it will at the very least have to involve the vector field of the magnetic field.

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