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Proof Of Gravity-Free Graphite

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The term “gravity-free graphite demonstration” describes an innovative experiment carried out by scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan’s Quantum Machines Unit. In this experiment, a little piece of graphite was levitated above a grid of magnets nearly precisely without the use of external power sources.

This advance in magnetic levitation is largely due to a novel substance that was created by chemically changing graphite to make it an electrical insulator.

By taking a novel method, the energy loss caused by eddy damping and the flow of electrical currents through the graphite were resolved, allowing the material to float in a vacuum.

Utilizing graphite’s diamagnetic qualities—which make it strongly rejected by magnets—the levitating platform works. The scientists created a centimeter-sized thin square plate by chemically coating tiny graphite beads with silica and combining the coated powder with wax. This plate is suspended over a grid of magnets.

The platform’s motion was continuously monitored as part of the experimental setup, and its motion was dampened by the application of a feedback magnetic force, which successfully cooled it down and greatly reduced its kinetic energy.

With the help of this levitation technology, extremely sensitive sensors with the ability to detect changes in gravity down to the atomic level might be developed for use in consumer and research applications.

Team leader and OIST researcher on quantum machines Jason Twamley believes the platform could surpass even the most sensitive atomic gravimeters created to date.

In order to further improve their system, the team is currently working on removing extraneous disturbances like vibrations, magnetic fields, and electrical noise. These state-of-the-art instruments harness the behavior of atoms to precisely measure gravity.

A major breakthrough in the field of magnetic levitation, the gravity-free graphite demonstration creates new opportunities for precise measurements and sensor development.