Tinkerer Builds an Ion Trap to Levitate Particles Like Magic

It's all physics.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Levitating things through engineering is one of those almost-magical experiments we just love to cover. Why? Because it's the best of science meets magic and it genuinely leaves us astounded.

In the past, we have brought you experiments that used the energy from a set of LEDs in a vacuum chamber to get two small plastic plates to hover using nothing but light and others that used only sound to levitate particles.

Now, YouTuber The Action Lab has released a video of another levitating trick. He has built an iron trap to levitate particles. 

To do this, he first uses a neon sign transformer of 5,000 volts. He specifies that for the experiment to work the transformer needs to have coils. This particular device has real coils wrapped around steel making it ideal for the YouTuber's experiment. The transformer will also be alternating current AC at 60 Hertz. 

What does the intrepid YouTuber do next? What devices are needed to complete this experiment? How does current manage to levitate particles? What does the experiment say about science principles? How easy is it to replicate the results? The video answers all these questions and more.

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