Magnetic levitation stabilized by streaming fluid flows

Baldwin, K.A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9168-6412, de Fouchier, J.-B., Atkinson, P.S. ORCID: 0000-0002-2398-8424, Hill, R.J.A., Swift, M.R. and Fairhurst, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-5311-0762, 2018. Magnetic levitation stabilized by streaming fluid flows. Physical Review Letters, 121 (6): 064502. ISSN 0031-9007

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We demonstrate that the ubiquitous laboratory magnetic stirrer provides a simple passive method of magnetic levitation, in which the so-called “flea” levitates indefinitely. We study the onset of levitation and quantify the flea’s motion (a combination of vertical oscillation, spinning and “waggling”), finding excellent agreement with a mechanical analytical model. The waggling motion drives recirculating flow, producing a centripetal reaction force that stabilized the flea. Our findings have implications for the locomotion of artificial swimmers and the development of bidirectional microfluidic pumps, and they provide an alternative to sophisticated commercial levitators.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Physical Review Letters
Creators: Baldwin, K.A., de Fouchier, J.-B., Atkinson, P.S., Hill, R.J.A., Swift, M.R. and Fairhurst, D.J.
Publisher: American Physical Society
Date: 8 August 2018
Volume: 121
Number: 6
ISSN: 0031-9007
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 04 Sep 2018 16:17
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 10:11

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