Quantum Levitation
Magnetic Levitation
Acoustic Levitation
Optical Levitation
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Welcome to Levitation 101

Every high school student should have a picture in his or her head of what it means for an object to be levitated. Whether the initial thought is to think of levitation as the magical illusion of a body floating over a table or their favorite superhero obeying the paranormal phenomenon, levitation is an amazing visual experience. We know that the magical illusion of levitation and the human ability to oppose gravity aren't real, but levitation is and it's all because of physics!

Levitation, coming from the Latin word levitas for lightness, is physically defined as the counteracting of gravity by a repelling force that allows for the suspension of an object. An extra constraint, stability, is required. There are two basic requirements for levitation: a force acting upwards equal to the gravitational force, and a reestablishing force that is applied only when the object is not in its natural levitating position. Different methods are used to achieve the requirements, including magnetic levitation, optical levitation, acoustic levitation, and quantum levitation.

About the Authors

This website was created by Andrew Ouellette, Geoffrey Baran, and Russell Putnam. Andrew and Russell are enrolled in the Physics and High Technology program at the University of Windsor while Geoffrey is in the Medical Physics program. All three of them have a love for physics and enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.


Picture 1. Boaz, Almog. (2012). Quantum Levitation; The Physics, Retrieved February 5, 2013, from: Quantum Levitation
Picture 2. © User: Yosemite / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Picture 3. © Dan Harris / courtesy Argonne National Laboratory / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0