Levitron

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Description:
Not to be confused with Leviton, an electrical manufacturing company.


Levitron is a brand of levitating toys and gifts in science and educational markets marketed by Creative Gifts Inc. and Fascination Toys & Gifts. The Levitron top device is a commercial toy that displays the phenomenon known as spin stabilized magnetic levitation. This method, with moving permanent magnets, is quite distinct from other versions which use changing electromagnetic fields, levitating various items such as a rotating world globe, model space shuttle or VW Beetle, and picture frame.

The device

The toy is essentially a permanent magnetic top and base plate, ring or alternate geometric configuration. Functional parameters, such as the top rotation rate or top weighting, are stringent. Employing principles of the magnetic field and gyroscopic stabilization, the Levitron induces levitation in its top through a series of interactive steps. The levitated top's stabilizing rotation undergoes natural, gradual slowing, so that the levitation phenomenon fails within four minutes unless external power is supplied to sustain rotation.

To levitate the top, a plastic plate is placed on top of the magnetic base, and the top is spun on the plate at between 25-50 rotations per second (1500-3000 rpm). If too slow, the top falls over and slides off sideways; if too fast it...
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