You are on page 1of 12

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

1 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

Magnetic Levitating Train

Magnet Levitation
Introduction: (Initial Observation)
With advances in production of very strong
magnets and electromagnets, now we can use
magnets and electromagnets in many new
products. Some of such products use the repelling
magnets to create floating objects including the
magnetic levitating trains. Levitating trains with
magnets or electromagnets can greatly reduce the
friction, sound and can increase the speed while
giving a smooth ride. In some other instruments
repelling magnets are used to create a spring like
force.
In this project you will experiment the repelling force of magnets.
Dear vikas yadav
This project guide contains information that you need in order to start your
project. If you have any questions or need more support about this project, click
on the "Ask Question" button on the top of this page to send me a message.
If you are new in doing science project, click on "How to Start" in the main
page. There you will find helpful links that describe different types of science
projects, scientific method, variables, hypothesis, graph, abstract and all other
general basics that you need to know.
Project advisor

Information Gathering:
Find out about magnets and electromagnets. Read books, magazines or ask
professionals who might know in order to learn about uses of magnets in different
devices or equipments. Keep track of where you got your information from.
Following are samples of information you may find:

History of Permanent Magnets


Lodestones
The history of permanent magnets goes back to ancient times. Records from early
Greek, Roman and Chinese civilizations make reference to rare and mysterious stones
called lodestones. These lodestones could attract each other and also small pieces of
iron in what seemed a magical way and when suspended from a thread, they always
pointed in the same direction. We now know that lodestones contain magnetite, an
oxide of iron and that they are a naturally occurring magnet having the composition

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

2 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

Fe3 O4.
Although lodestones were considered an intriguing phenomenon by scientists of the
day, they were not really utilized in any constructive way until around 1200 AD with
the introduction of the mariners (magnetic) compass. The mariners compass is a
device housing a pivoting magnetized needle, which freely and consistently points
towards magnetic north. This enables travelers to consistently and safely navigate
their way from one place to another.
Source: http://www.lodestoneindustries.com.au/aboutmagnets.asp

Here is a paper describing "Methods of Magnetizing Permanent Magnets" by Joseph


Stupak, Jr.

How are magnets made?


There are 6 basic steps to making a magnet, such as a Neodymium Iron Boron magnet
= Nd2 Fe14B or Nd15 Fe77B8 .
1. Make an alloy of iron, boron and neodymium. You will need about 0.014
pounds of boron and 0.369 pounds of neodymium for every pound of iron to make an
alloy of Nd2 Fe14 B. This will have to be heated above 1538 degrees Centigrade to
make it melt. The mixing of the materials with the iron is very important, just like
thoroughly mixing the ingredients for a cake.
2. Grind the alloy into a powder. After the alloy has cooled, you will need to grind
it or mill it into a very fine powder.
3. Compress the powder into a shape. Since the magnet will have a specific
shape when you are done, you use a mold of that shape to make the magnet. For
example, you may want a disk. Pour the powder into a mold that has a disk shape,
but is also deeper than the thickness of the final part. Next, you will compress the
powder with hundreds of pounds of pressure to compact the powder into a solid disk.
Heat is often used to help fuse the particles together, and is called a sintered magnet.
Sometimes a glue is used to help keep it all together, and is considered to be a bonded
magnet. To achieve precise final dimensions, you may need to grind the part.
4. Coat the magnet. In order to improve the corrosion resistance of the magnet,
the disk needs to be plated with a thin film of nickel. Sometimes a film of gold is
used, or zinc, or an epoxy coating.. Nickel does not oxidize like iron, so it works great
for magnets you will be touching.
5. Magnetize the magnet. All this time, the powder and the disk is not
magnetized. It would be attracted to and stick to a magnet, but it would not be able
to pick up a paper clip all by itself. So, it would be placed into a magnetizing fixture
that has a coil of wire through which a very large pulse of current is passed for a very
short period of time. The magnet has to be held in place so it doesn't shoot out and
hit something or someone. It takes about a thousandth of a second to actually
magnetize the magnet.
6. Pack and ship it. You now have a magnet for whatever you need. Engineers
often require special shapes or specific magnetization configurations to make the
product they are designing work properly. They talk with the magnet manufacturer
and they determine how to best make the magnet that is needed. That's why there
are so many different shapes and sizes of magnets in the catalogs.

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

3 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

Question/ Purpose:
What do you want to find out? Write a statement that describes what you want to do. Use your observations and
questions to write the statement.

Question 1: How does the distance between ring magnets change as you stack them so
that they repel each other?
Question 2: Is the distance of floating magnet rings affected by their position in the
stack?
Question 3: How does the distance between magnets change if at the base of the stack
you place 2 or 3 attracting magnets?

Identify Variables:
When you think you know what variables may be involved, think about ways to change one at a time. If you change
more than one at a time, you will not know what variable is causing your observation. Sometimes variables are linked
and work together to cause something. At first, try to choose variables that you think act independently of each
other.
This is how you may define variables for Question 1:

The Independent variable is the amount of load or weight on repelling magnets.


The dependent variable is the distance between the repelling magnets.

Hypothesis:
Based on your gathered information, make an educated guess about what types of things affect the system you are
working with. Identifying variables is necessary before you can make a hypothesis.

Sample hypothesis for question 1:


I hypothesize that the distance between the repelling magnets will reduce by increasing
pressure. I also hypothesize that the repelling force will increase as the magnets get
closer to each other. My hypothesis is based on the fact that each additional magnet
added to the stack will cause some downward force to all repelling magnets bellow itself.
Your hypothesis for question 2:
Try to write your own hypothesis for this question. Your prediction is your hypothesis.
For example you may predict that stacked magnets will stay equidistance from each
other. In other words all magnets will have the same distance to the magnets below or
above them. Or you may predict that the distance between magnets will increase (or
decrease) as we move up in the stack.
Write down your hypothesis and your reason for that before you do your experiment.
Your experiment will be stacking the ring magnets in an arrangement that they repel
each other.

Experiment Design:
Design an experiment to test each hypothesis. Make a step-by-step list of what you will do to answer each question.
This list is called an experimental procedure. For an experiment to give answers you can trust, it must have a
"control." A control is an additional experimental trial or run. It is a separate experiment, done exactly like the others.
The only difference is that no experimental variables are changed. A control is a neutral "reference point" for
comparison that allows you to see what changing a variable does by comparing it to not changing anything.
Dependable controls are sometimes very hard to develop. They can be the hardest part of a project. Without a
control you cannot be sure that changing the variable causes your observations. A series of experiments that includes
a control is called a "controlled experiment."

Experiment 1:
Floating ring magnets are among the experiments and demonstrations you may perform
with the ring magnets. In this project you use the vertical wood dowel or pencil to stack
a group of ring magnets and tray to predict their distances.

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

4 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

Question/ Problem:
How does the distance between ring magnets change as you stack them so that they
repel each other?
Materials:
6 ceramic ring magnets
A wood dowel (may be replaced by a pencil)
Preparation:
Mount the wooden dowel or a pencil on a flat wooden board using
wood glue or by making a same size hole on the board.
Sanding the wood dowels may be required:
The wood dowel or pencil must easily slide trough the hole in the
center of ring magnet. If this does not happen, please use a sand
paper to sand the wood dowel. Sanding will reduce the diameter
and smoothen the surface.
Procedure:

1. Drop the first ring magnet onto the wood dowel.


2. Drop the second magnet onto the wood dowel so that it will
repel the first ring magnet. If they don't repel each other,
take out the second magnet, turn it over and drop it again
onto the dowel.

3. Measure the distance between the two magnets and record it


in your data table.

4. Drop the third magnet onto the wood dowel so that it will
repel the second ring magnet. If they don't repel each other,
take out the third magnet, turn it over and drop it again onto
the dowel.

5. Measure the distance between the first two magnets and


record it in your data table.

6. Add the fourth, the fifth and possibly the sixth magnet so
that all magnets repel each other and by adding each
magnet, repeat measuring and recording the distance
between the first two magnets.

7. Record your observations in a table like this:


Number of rings
in the stack

Load = Number of repelling


magnets above the first two

Distance of the first


two magnets

Make a graph:
You may use a bar graph to visually present your results. Make one vertical bar for each
amount of load. The height of each bar will show the distance of the first two magnets.
(The height of bars may be increased by about 5 to 10 times for better visibility).

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

5 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

Experiment 2:
Magnetic field of magnets on a stack of repelling magnets may extend to affect many
magnets on that stack. In this experiment we examine the distance between all
magnets in the stack of 5 or 6 ring magnets.
Question/ Problem: Is the distance of floating magnet rings affected by their position
in the stack?
Procedure:

1. Insert all 5 or 6 magnets onto the dowel in a way that each magnet repels the
magnets bellow and above itself.

2. Measure and record the distance between the magnets.


3. Your data table may look like this:
Order in the stack from the
bottom

Distance to the magnet


bellow

2
3
4
5

No graph is required:
Make a drawing or take a picture of the stack to show the relative distance between the
magnets in different positions of the stack.

Experiment 3:
When more than one magnet are bundled together, they will have a magnetic force that
is different from each single magnet. In this experiment we will examine the change in
the repelling force of bundled magnets.

Question/ Problem: How does the distance between repelling


magnets change if at the base of the stack you place 2 or 3
attracting magnets?
Procedure:

1. Place a single magnet onto the wood dowel and add a second
magnet in a way that it repels the first magnet.

2. Measure and record the distance of the two magnets.


3. Repeat the steps 1 and 2 by placing 2 and 3 bundled
magnets (attracting magnets) at the bottom.

4. Record your results in a table like this:

Number of bundled magnets Distance of the top

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

6 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

at the bottom

repelling magnet

1
2
3
Make a graph:
You may use a bar graph to visually present your results. Make one vertical bar for each
number of magnets in the bundle. The height of each bar will show the distance of the
top (repelling) magnet. (The height of bars may be increased by about 5 to 10 times for
better visibility).

Magnetic Equilibrium Demonstration


The downward force of gravity may balance with an upward repelling force of a magnet
to form an equilibrium. A magnetic equilibrium may also involve more than one
magnet.
Finding the equilibrium is a challenging task. It becomes more challenging if the
equilibrium is involving more than one element. Elements in an equilibrium are
sensitive to small forces that may change the balance of the equilibrium.
Try this:
In this experiment you use the rectangular magnets that
you received with your kit. You need a rough surface so the
magnets can not slide on that. You may use a sand paper as
the ground for these experiments.
Identify the poles: Move one face of the magnet towards the compass (from the
side). The compass will show if that face is North or South. Mark both faces in all your
rectangular magnets.
Find the equilibrium: Place one magnet horizontally and then move another magnet
towards that from the top such that like poles are facing each other and two magnets
repel. When you feel the repelling force, gradually and slowly move the upper magnet
to one side and let it stand in one edge. Adjust the distance to find the equilibrium. If
your flat magnet starts to move, temporarily hold it with your finger or put some sticky
material under that so it will not move.

Additional magnets can be added to this


equilibrium from the side. Again like poles
must face each other.
Find out how many slanted magnets you can
stand in row in an equilibrium state.

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

7 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

If you don't have a rough surface for


this experiment, you may need to use
tape to hold the bottom of the magnets
in place.

The equilibrium may be achieved with different


arrangements of different magnets.

Make a Magnetic Levitating Train


Introduction: In magnets like poles repel. In
other words N poles repel N poles and S poles
repel S poles. The abilities of magnets to repel
each other has provided the idea of making
levitating trains. Levitating trains do not make a
loud noise as regular trains do. They can also
travel faster due to lower friction between the
train and the rails.
Magnetic trains do not need wheels. They just
need a magnetic rail on the ground and a like
magnetic rail on the train cars.
Materials
To construct a model of magnetic levitating train you will need the following materials.
Included in your kit:
2 long hi-force Magnetic Strips (for the rails)
2 short hi-force Magnetic Strips (for the car)
2 plastic Guide Rails
Wood Block 5" x 1 1/2" x 3/4" for the car

Additional materials you need:


Wood board or heavy cardboard 3" x 28" or larger. This will be the ground for
your train.
Clear adhesive tape
Foam board or construction paper for making a decorative train
Wood glue or Elmer glue to connect the foam parts (optional)
A ruler stick
Pencil

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

8 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

This instruction page


Procedure Quick Reference:

1. Peal the plastic film from the back of 5" long magnet
strips and connect them on one side of the 5" x 1 1/2"
wood block. This will be the train car. As you see in the
picture in the right, the strips are aligned to the edges
of the wood block and are 1/2" apart.

2. Peal the plastic film from the back of 24" long magnetic
strips and mount them parallel to each other, exactly
1/2" apart, on a long wooden board or rigid card board.

3. Mount the clear plastic angles on the sides of the long


magnetic strips to form a protective wall so the
levitating car will not move off rail. There must be a
very small gap between the car and the walls so the car
can move freely.
In this method the angle brackets are
installed towards outside. In other
words the horizontal surface of the
brackets are away from the rails. This
methods allows you to adjust the
position of side rails later. The angle
brackets can be secured using masking
tape, clear adhesive tape, or small
screws.
Another method described in the detail
procedure below is suggesting the
brackets to be mounted towards inside.
You choose which method you want to
use.
Procedure Details:

1. Draw 2 parallel lines 24" long and 1/4" apart as the


guideline for mounting plastic rails (angle brackets).
Number these lines as line 1 and line 2.

2. draw 2 more parallel lines 1/8" outside the first two lines.
These 2 new lines will be used as the guideline for the
magnet strips. We name these new lines , line A and line
B.

3. Place one of the angle brackets on the board and align its
edge to the line number 1. At this time the flat section of
the angle bracket will cover the line A and the wall section
of that will stay on the left of line A. Use tape to secure it
at this position.

4. Place the other plastic angle bracket on the board and

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

9 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

align its edge to the line number 2. At this time the flat
section of the angle bracket will cover the line B and the
wall section of that will stay on the right of line B. Use
tape to secure it at that position.

5. Place your train car between the rails and make


sure that it can move freely and the space
between the walls and train is as small as
possible.

6. Peal the plastic film from the back of


24" long magnetic strips and mount
them on the flat section of angle
brackets. One must be aligned to line A
and the other must be aligned to line
B. In this way two magnetic strips will
be exactly 1/2" apart.

7. Place the rail board on a flat


horizontal surface and then
place the train car over the
rail. It must float and the side
brackets must protect it so it
does not go off road.

Further adjustments and alignments:


If the magnets are very strong you may need to make your train heavier by adding
weights or loads. You may also use the super strong neodymium magnet to modify the
strength of your plastic magnet strips. Please be cautious in doing this because
imbalance in the strength of magnet strips can potentially disable your train.
To increase the strength of plastic magnet, place the
neodymium magnet on the magnet strip so that it will be
attracted, then rub the magnet all over the surface of both
rails on the ground.
To reduce the strength of magnet, hover the neodymium
magnet above the magnet strip so that it will be repelled

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

10 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

by the plastic magnet, then move it along the rail.


To be more precise in this procedure, you must first identify the N and S of your plastic
magnets and your neodymium magnet. You may use a compass to identify the poles.
The south pole of the compass needle is the one that shows the north and attracts to
the N pole of magnets. Also the North pole of a compass needle stays towards the
south pole and attracts toward the S pole of magnets.
To increase the strength of plastic magnet, rub its surface with the opposite pole of the
neodymium magnet. To reduce its strength, hover the like pole of the neodymium
magnet above its surface.
Note: Super strong Neodymium magnet is also able to reverse the poles of a plastic
magnet. For example if the surface of plastic magnet is N, you can rub that surface
with the N pole of neo magnet in order to change it to S.
Decoration:
Make a decorative train using Styrofoam or
construction paper and mount it over your wooden
train base. A decorative structure makes your train
more attractive for your science project display.
You can glue or tape any decorative train car above
your wooden train.

If you cut the foam to exact size of your wooden


train, you will not need to use tape or glue. The
model can sit right on the top of the wooden train
and hold it snugly.

Additional upgrades:
The wooden train or the decorative
train above that may be equipped
with ejecting magnets so they can
smoothly eject at the end of the
rail.
Ejecting magnets are usually
rectangle magnets or small disk
magnets that may be screwed or
taped to both ends of a train.
To make these work, matching
magnets must be mounted at the
end of each rail in a way that they
repel the train magnets.

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

11 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

The magnets at the end of the rail


must be fully aligned with the train
magnets so they can repel the train
when it gets to the end of line.
End of line magnets may be
mounted on another wood block or a
small cardboard or plastic box.
Picture in the right shows an end of
line magnet mounted on a wooden
block that is hold in place using
rubber bands.

Materials and Equipment:


Materials used in this project include:
20 Ceramic Magnets
Super-strong NEODYMIUM Magnet
Hi-force Magnetic Strips
Plastic Guide Rails
Compass
Iron Filings
Wood Block
Wooden dowel
Online instructions

The above materials are available in the KITML from MiniScience. You can click on the
above picture to order them.
Additional materials you need:
Wood board or heavy cardboard 3" x 28" or larger. This will be the ground for your
train.
Adhesive tape
Wood glue or Elmer glue to connect the foam parts
Nails with diameter less than the hole on the sheaves (Wheels)

Results of Experiment (Observation):


Experiments are often done in series. A series of experiments can be done by changing
one variable a different amount each time. A series of experiments is made up of
separate experimental "runs." During each run you make a measurement of how much
the variable affected the system under study. For each run, a different amount of
change in the variable is used. This produces a different amount of response in the
system. You measure this response, or record data, in a table for this purpose. This is
considered "raw data" since it has not been processed or interpreted yet. When raw data
gets processed mathematically, for example, it becomes results.

Calculations:
If you do any calculations, write your calculations in this section of your report.

05-07-2015 11:46

FG042, Magnet Levitation Train Science Project

12 of 12

https://www.scienceproject.com/projects/detail/Free/FG042.asp?newVi...

Summary of Results:
Summarize what happened. This can be in the form of a table of processed numerical
data, or graphs. It could also be a written statement of what occurred during
experiments.
It is from calculations using recorded data that tables and graphs are made. Studying
tables and graphs, we can see trends that tell us how different variables cause our
observations. Based on these trends, we can draw conclusions about the system under
study. These conclusions help us confirm or deny our original hypothesis. Often,
mathematical equations can be made from graphs. These equations allow us to predict
how a change will affect the system without the need to do additional experiments.
Advanced levels of experimental science rely heavily on graphical and mathematical
analysis of data. At this level, science becomes even more interesting and powerful.

Conclusion:
Using the trends in your experimental data and your experimental observations, try to
answer your original questions. Is your hypothesis correct? Now is the time to pull
together what happened, and assess the experiments you did.

Related Questions & Answers:


What you have learned may allow you to answer other questions. Many questions are
related. Several new questions may have occurred to you while doing experiments. You
may now be able to understand or verify things that you discovered when gathering
information for the project. Questions lead to more questions, which lead to additional
hypothesis that need to be tested.

Possible Errors:
If you did not observe anything different than what happened with your control, the
variable you changed may not affect the system you are investigating. If you did not
observe a consistent, reproducible trend in your series of experimental runs there may
be experimental errors affecting your results. The first thing to check is how you are
making your measurements. Is the measurement method questionable or unreliable?
Maybe you are reading a scale incorrectly, or maybe the measuring instrument is
working erratically.
If you determine that experimental errors are influencing your results, carefully rethink
the design of your experiments. Review each step of the procedure to find sources of
potential errors. If possible, have a scientist review the procedure with you. Sometimes
the designer of an experiment can miss the obvious.

References:
List of References in this section of your report. The list of your references is also known
as bibliography. This may include the online or printed references.
|Home | My Projects |
| How to Start | Variables | Graph/ Chart | Analysis | Abstract |
| Display Board | Writing Report |

05-07-2015 11:46