Levitating Rings

By on June 25, 2006, with 27 Comments

Can you guess how this illusion was made? It seems this guy is making the little yellow object levitate right between his fingers. Is he using some supernatural, object-control technique? The explanation is quite simple, if you ask me. So go ahead, ask me! Hehe… jump inside this article for explanation. Just click on the underlined title of this post.

This is the explanation as I understood it – The top of the levitating thing is is a magnet with the north pole pointing down and spinning. It is spinning above four magnets which have the north pole pointing up. The top has a yellow handle on top and a yellow plastic base on the bottom. What you don’t realize from the photo you saw, is that at the bottom of the picture is a part of a dark square.

This is a set of four other magnets set in a square inside a black box. Interestingly, it has been mathematically proven that magnets alone cannot levitate stabily in the air. However, surprisingly, if a magnet is spinning it can be stable when it sits in a magnetic well. Guy on the picture claims he was able to get it to stay there over a minute! Above the yellow base, there are rings that one has to adjust to balance it vertically in the field.

Looks like he had one large ring and one small yellowish ring. Above them are two black O-rings that hold the others in place. It takes some playing around to find the right weight and unfortunately the magnets change strength with temperature, so a working arrangement is not stable and permanent.

27 Responses
1. John says:

Thats the Levitron thingie.

I Think I own one of those…

But when i tried it it only stiaed in the air for half-a-second.

2. Darkmind says:

To my mind, this is a fake.
explanation :
We can see on his thumb a little mark, a little hollow.
And I think that, behind both sides of yellow parts, there are 2 transparent rods.
:p

I know this is kind of real because I own a levitron and the top(spinning top) looks exactly like that. The picture is not showing the basewhich is a big magnet and the top is another magnet, the poles are opposing each other.

4. Darth Chewbacca says:

I agree with Darkmind its probably like as thin as hair so you can’t see the shadow or something

5. knighthunter says:

I think you dont have to go into a magnetic field theory lecture to explain it.
the yellow thing is placed on a transparent glass table and the guy poses the way he is from above and the picture is taken from below the table and with some photo editing tools you can get rid of any flash (if any )that might have appeared on the snat. simple as that.
knighthunter3000@yahoo.com

6. wonga says:

Simple. Try photoshop and a manicure!

Look at this link that shows the levatron.

8. Eelco says:

Here is the solution no fingery trickery. anyone can do it after a little bit of practise and keeping it up for about ten minutes or so is doable.

9. Anonymous says:

Even though we’ve already got the explanation, I still think he’s balancing it between his nose and eyebrow lol.

• inmyshoes says:

I think its a syringe sucked against his eyebrow.

10. Anonymous says:

People. You can see an indentation on his thumb where there is obviously a glass tube he is holding between his thumb and middle finger.

11. Ally K. says:

i’m a little bit late but…i have to say, can’t you just accept that it’s science? there are cool things in life that aren’t fake. :D

12. Anonymous says:

sorry for my bad englisj i’m from germany
but its simple under the yellow object is a magnetic plate you can spin it on the plate lift it up in the air and it wll stands there for thome seconds
the plate or what else is on the oudside like the north pole and on the inside like the southpole and the blade(?) will only spin in the middle

13. Anonymous says:

14. sam says:

its kinda of obvious that hes holding a straw on top and bottom. you can see that there isa dent in his bottom finger t i double ga er

15. me says:

Actually this is a magnetic top toy. you can spin it in the air and it floats if its above this base. You cant see the base in this picture though because that would ruin the illusions. Heres the explanation

16. tempest says:

What about… he’s dropping it down to the camera..

17. cheyenne says:

it looks weird cuz u cant c the guys neck?? im kinda scared with that stuff like man in black.

SCARRRRRYYYYY!

18. noah says:

for all you douches who say it is a fake, your wrong. using the gyroscopic effect of a top, and five magnets, this top can float because of a base that isnt in the picture. dont believe me? look it up in youtube. douches.

19. momey says:

ofoarse this is the illusion from that fantasy world lol that toy store near ny just a black thread or ur black hair string or whateva that is not likley seen

20. Veggies says:

I LOVE those illusions, but i knwo it is a fake. I know it is a fake because of those wormy things that they said is magic….it was moved by a string…phoney eh?

21. troll says:

how do magnets work?

22. RYLEE says:

black thread or something else b/c the dent in his finger. he is wearing black, so i go with black thread

23. Wayne G. says:

It’s real, peeps, not a trick. The base and the bottom of the top have like poles and are thus repelled: the floating. However, the top’s magnet is weak enough that gravity plus gyroscopic force can keep it from flipping over (gravity alone won’t prevent this).
By the way: gyroscopic force is the tendency of something rotating in a plane to stay within that plane. Physics FTW!!!

24. sunny says:

i still dont get it.

25. o.i.e. says:

its just a very thin string if you look below it closely you will see a black string