The magnetic levitation it is a phenomenon in which an object remains suspended without any physical contact with a solid surface, thanks to the interaction between magnetic fields. This technology is based on the property of diamagnetic materials which consists in the repulsion of magnetic fields as well as on the principles of magnetostatics.
To achieve magnetic levitation, permanent magnets or are used electromagnets that generate intense and controllable magnetic fields. The repulsion force between the magnetic field generated by the magnets and the diamagnetic material is equal and opposite to the force of gravitythus allowing the suspension of an object in the air.
The effect of magnetic levitation is already exploited in several fields, including the high-speed transport as in maglevin scientific experiments in frictionless environments, in medical applications for object positioning and many other application areas.
Magnetic levitation and LK-99 superconductors – what’s new
In recent weeks, a team of South Korean researchers has published a study focused on the discovery of a new material that would have the characteristics of a superconductor at room temperature. Sukbae Lee and his collaborators, have shared the first results on superconductivity of a modified lead apatite (LK-99) crystal at room temperature.
I Crystal LK-99 they seem to be materials with particular properties, capable of activating even magnetic levitation phenomena at the usual atmospheric temperatures and pressures. Superconductors are materials capable of conduct current electricity without any resistence when cooled below a certain critical temperature. Traditional superconductors require very low temperatures, usually close to absolute zero. However, RTSCs (Room-temperature superconductor) are a class of superconductors that have critical temperatures significantly higher, making them more practical for different applications.
New research: magnetic levitation achieved with LK-99 crystals
Building on the work done by South Korean colleagues, a team of Chinese researchers has synthesized for the first time ever Crystal LK-99 which can be magnetically levitated with a greater angle of levitation than the sample used in the study by Sukbae Lee and co. All at room temperature.
The new research, signed by Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), claims the achievement of an important milestone that paves the way for the realization of the true potential of magnetic levitation at room temperaturewithout physical contact with the underlying support.
In the experiment, HUST experts found that when the ferromagnet is close to the LK-99 crystal sample, the latter lifts up and positions itself on an axis perpendicular to the base. As the magnet moves away from the sample, the latter tends to rest on the surface.
In this tweet, you can also find a video showing the LK-99 sample “floating” above the base below. A new development that could represent a significant breakthrough in the field of physics of superconductors.
I experimental results as soon as published could lead to new discoveries and applications in magnetic levitation technology, with possible uses in sectors such as transportation, medicine and aerospace. Further research and experimentation are obviously needed to fully understand the potential of these materials and their practical implementation.