In a breakthrough that could one day revolutionize transportation and electricity generation, scientists at the University in Kanagawa in
Japan demonstrated this month a disc that spins at over 200 rotations per minute when placed over a magnet in direct sunlight, saying the discovery
could help create a wholly “new class” of solar energy.
(Phys.org)—Magnetic levitation has been demonstrated for a variety of objects, from trains to frogs, but so far no one has developed a practical
maglev-based actuator that converts some external source of energy into motion. Now in a new study, researchers for the first time have used a laser
to control the motion of a magnetically levitating graphite disk. By changing the disk's temperature, the laser can change the disk's levitation
height and move it in a controlled direction, which has the potential to be scaled up and used as a light-driven human transportation system. Laser
light or sunlight can also cause the levitating disk to rotate at over 200 rpm, which could lead to a new type of light energy conversion
I can imagine in a controlled environment, like a factory setting or shipping center (think of Amazon's massive fulfillment centers) a maglev sled
using a laser light to guide it would require virtually no energy for movement on it's rounds.
The experiment also demonstrated the disk would spin just using sunlight - could we one day see massive disks hovering over a field of magnets using
sunlight to cause it to spin, would it generate enough torque to drive machinery?
Demonstrations of a diamagnetic graphite disk being moved in a linear direction and rotated by a laser, and rotated by sunlight. A large enough
graphite disk could potentially be used as a new type of light-driven human transportation system. Video credit: Masayuki Kobayashi and Jiro
Rotation also occurs when the set-up is exposed to sunlight. By converting solar energy into rotational energy, the disk can reach a rotational
speed of more than 200 rpm, which could make it useful for applications such as optically driven turbines.
Of course a 'Crookes radiometer' can spin just using sunlight, but there's no useful torque to be gained from this device for driving machinery.
(There are multiple theories over the cause of this effect, more than a hundred years after it's first demonstration.)
I think this experiment shows a great deal of potential, but also how little we still grasp magnetism.
I wonder if this would actually work out cheaper over the long run than solar panels? There's zero maintenance compared to solar panels (ie: dust,
dirt and water doesn't affect the operation of the device), there's virtual no wear and tear caused by friction, and rare earth magnets to my
understanding will last many lifetimes before they lose their charge.
The only thing I can see holding this back is the amount of torque that the rotating disc can generate. It needs to be high enough to overcome the
inertia/friction of whatever is attached to the disc to convert rotational energy into electricity.
I think its obvious that gravity and magnets share a common thread. If you want to know why,I as a speck would ask you,u might read this post in the
first place if it is possible to bend natural forces to throw time. When this is a discussion? Because zero-point energy should be the main focus and
ventilation to dumb is what everyone should ask. The obvious curious je ne i sai no pas should not be allowed here. what should be discussed is the
thought that "while im here ill grab teks and make my cash stretch longer then giraffes necks" Be it as it may be, I caargue with you . Here is where
I must end the dialogue Peace
edit on 29-12-2012 by Speckle because: (no reason given)
It is not really "light powered movement" - the power for the movement is still coming from the magnets, and has to be supplied in some fairly
normal manner - eg permanent magnets or electromagnets.
As explained in the Physics.org link in the OP What the laser is doing is heating part of the disc and changing the magnetic properties of that part
of the disc, thus causing the magnets to have an uneven effect on the disc, so it moves.
The rotation and movement required 2 completely separate stacks of magnets - rectangular ones for movement and a stack of circular ones for
It is cool and will probably be really useful - but it is not magic or a new form of energy
Don't worry, once the free lunch crowd gets their hands on the concept they will 'develop' antigravity spaceships that power themselves for 1000
years off this technology. Surprisingly, there will be no independent tests to back their claims, but, lo and behold you can buy plans/components to
their apparatus for only $89.99+Shipping.
I have a SLIGHT problem with this: "I can imagine in a controlled environment, like a factory setting or shipping center (think of Amazon's massive
fulfillment centers) a maglev sled using a laser light to guide it would require virtually no energy for movement on it's rounds."
Would require NO ENERGY...
Were do the "Laser" come from...Thin air???
I like the idea but it will require energy and if using LASERS....
LOTS of energy...
Just a thought, but:
Could a pattern be etched on the backside of the graphene disc which would allow an electric current to be generated by it's movement through a
magnetic field? Graphene having conductive properties.
This,even small current, could then be tapped for some usage. Several of these would be needed for any appreciable work to be done, but it may be a
start in the right direction.
The whole thing could then be scaled up, if it proves to be effective.
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