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Others Like “Abracadabra! Levitating with Eddy Currents!”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this science project, you will build what might be the world's simplest motor. It has just four basic parts: magnets, a battery, a screwdriver, and a short piece of wire. It takes only minutes to assemble, but it provides a wonderful device to explore how electricity and magnetism combine to produce a fast-spinning motor. Read more
Elec_p065
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with basic electronics and physics would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Wear safety goggles at all times. Be sure to read the important safety notes at the beginning of the Experimental Procedure before you begin.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What happens if you hold a magnet next to water? You might think that water is not affected by magnetism, but in fact, the water is slightly repelled. Believe it or not, if the magnet is strong enough, you can use this effect to levitate objects that contain water, including insects and even small frogs! In this science project, you will learn about diamagnetism. Materials that are repelled by both poles of a magnet are called diamagnetic. The magnets you will use are not strong enough to float… Read more
MatlSci_p041
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase some materials online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Neodymium magnets are extremely strong, and must be handled with care to avoid personal injury and damage to the magnets or to electronic appliances. Minor injury is possible and you should wear safety goggles whenever working with these magnets. Please read the important safety notes in the Experimental Procedure before beginning this science project.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail While you are probably quite familiar with battery-powered flashlights and watches, did you know there are motion-powered electronic devices—including some flashlights and watches—that can seemingly run forever without needing new batteries? The secret involves using magnets that generate electricity when they move around near a metal wire. In this science project, you will build your own simple motion-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Read more
Energy_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Water is an interesting thing. We drink it, swim in it, and wash ourselves with it. We can get energy from water by damming it and sending it through a turbine. But did you know that we can use the natural electrical charges present in water and a Kelvin electrostatic generator to create sparks? You can even use a Kelvin electrostatic generator to temporarily light a bulb! Now that is one bright idea! Read more
Elec_p069
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to visit your local hardware store to purchase plumbing items to build the Kelvin electrostatic generator. You will also need a hand saw, a drill, a heat gun, a digital scale, a fan, and a dehumidifier. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Cost of the project may be lower depending on what tools you already have available.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Parts of the Kelvin electrostatic generator require use of a hand saw and a drill. Wear safety goggles when using power tools. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Today magnetic recording is used in audio and video cassette recorders, and computer disk drives. Did you know that you can also use an electromagnet to record and play back from a steel wire? In fact, this is how magnetic recording got started. This project shows you how to build a simple wire recorder. Read more
Elec_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Eye protection required during construction
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a magician float an object in the air? If so, you might think that levitation (making things float) is just a magic trick, but the truth is you can use an invisible physical force to levitate a magnet! Try this science project to find out how. Read more
Phys_p067
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The magnets needed for this experiment can be bought online from science supply stores.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When placed next to one another in certain configurations, magnets are attracted and can move toward one another, so be careful not to get your fingers pinched between the magnets.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
Material Availability Specialty items are required for this science project, and are available as a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail While trains that fly through the air might still be science fiction, trains that float just above the tracks without actually touching them are real and are actually used in a few countries today. This technology is called magnetic levitation. In this physics science project, you will build your own levitating train model and test how much weight it can hold before it stops hovering above the tracks. Read more
Phys_p093
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires the Magic Bullet Train kit, available for purchase from the [# Link Name="Phys_p093.12" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety When working with magnets, keep them away from your mouth, and away from small children and pets.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Measuring the value of a resistor with an ohmmeter is pretty simple. You connect the meter to the resistor, and read off the measurement from the meter. But what if the resistance you want to measure is very low? This project shows you how to use a four-point resistance measurement method to measure low resistance values. Read more
Elec_p025
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you should be familiar with Ohm's Law, and with the basics of using a digital multimeter.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Physicists sometimes study matter under extreme conditions. For example, think of the emptiness of interstellar space vs. the unimaginable crush of pressure at the center of a neutron star, or an object dipped in liquid nitrogen vs. the tiles on the space shuttle during re-entry. Here's an experiment on permanent magnets in "extreme kitchen" conditions that you can try at home. Read more
Phys_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision highly recommended. Use tongs to hold magnets immersed in boiling water, ice, and dry ice. Use proper caution when transfering magnets at extreme temperatures.
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