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Published on Apr 14, 2010
The first shot shows the setup of this experiment. One big cylindrical magnet, made from neodymium (NdFeB), is hung at the top, above two plates of bismuth. Bismuth is element nr. 83; a highly diamagnetic metal. Diamagnetic means that it creates an opposing magnetic field if there is a magnetic field close to it. That means that it will repel a magnet.
The small cube between the two plates of bismuth is also made of neodymium (NdFeB) and measures 5x5x5 mm. The two plates of bismuth repel the magnet, but they are not strong enough to overcome gravity. This is solved by the big cylindrical magnet on top of it all attracting the small magnet.
If all elements are aligned carefully, the small magnet will float stably between the two bismuth plates. You can easily push the magnet and it will go back to the center. It can spin for hours!