Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How To Levitate And Melt An Aluminum At The Same Time

An Aluminum Slug Melts And Levitates At The Same Time -- io9

Run an alternating current through a coiled length of copper and you'll create a levitation cylinder. Drop a bar of aluminum in and you've got yourself some hovering metal. But leave the metal there too long...

The thing about this levitation cylinder is that it doubles as an induction heater. In a nutshell: the current coursing through the copper (which has been coiled to form a solenoid) creates an alternating magnetic field. The magnetic field induces a special form of electrical current (known as eddy currents) in the hovering piece of aluminum. These eddy currents give rise a phenomenon, called Joule heating, that, with enough power, can cause the metal to become very, very hot, as it does here.

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My Comment: This is so cool.

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