Physics

Understanding Levitation



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There are so many stories about people who have the ability to rise into the air. Some have been said to be blessed and others were possessed. Levitation is a phenomenon of psychokinesis (PK) in which objects, people, and animals are lifted into the air without any visibly physical means and float or fly about. The phenomenon has been said to have occurred in shamanism, trances, mystical and magical rapture, and demonic possession. Some cases of levitation appear to be spontaneous, while some magicians are said to be able to control it consciously.

There seems to be several general characteristics about levitation. The duration of the phenomenon may last from a few minutes, to hours. Incidents of poltergeists and hauntings often involve the levitation of objects.
Generally, levitation requires a great amount of concentration or being in a state of a trance. Skeptics nevertheless, have come up with several theories which include hallucination, hypnosis, or fraud. These theories are not applicable to all incidents, however. The most likely and acceptable explanation is the Eastern theory of an existence of a force which belongs to another, nonmaterial reality, and manifests itself in the material world.

Science - The Real Levitation
Leaving the mysteries of magic and phenomenon aside, scientists have found many different ways to levitate things. For instance, a helicopter can be considered as a very impressive levitation device which uses a stream of air to keep floating. Scientists have found many ways to levitate objects without any noise or the need for petrol or air, by using electromagnetic fields. Levitating trains and levitating displays are but two examples of electromagnetic levitation. However, in all such schemes, a source of energy (an engine or a battery at least) is always required to keep an object afloat. Remove the battery and the levitation inevitably stops.

Today's science knows only one way to achieve real levitation which does not require energy input and the levitation can last forever. It makes use of diamagnetism, an intrinsic property of many materials relating to their ability to expel a portion, even if for a minute, of an external magnetic field. Electrons in such materials rearrange their orbits slightly so that they expel the external field. As a result, diamagnetic materials repel and are repelled by strong magnetic fields. Is this the true answer to levitation, or just the possibility and belief of those who don't believe?

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