The Magic of Magnetic Levitation

James D. Livingston

Harvard University Press, 2011



From Peter Pan to Harry Potter, from David Copperfield to levitating toys, there is magic in conquering gravity. In this first-ever popular introduction to “maglev” – the use of magnetic forces to overcome gravity and friction – James D. Livingston takes readers on a journey of discovery, from basic concepts to today’s most thrilling applications. The tour begins with examples of our historical fascination with levitation and then introduces the fundamentals of gravitational and magnetic forces, force balance and stability of levitation, eddy currents, diamagnetism, superconductivity, sensors and feedback systems.
The book’s literally uplifting coverage of demonstrations and applications of maglev includes flying frogs, levitated sumo wrestlers, maglev surgery inside a living pig, and magnetic bearings in heart pumps, uranium centrifuges, wind turbines, flywheels for energy storage, integrated circuit manufacture, and maglev trains. Millions of people have already experienced the thrill of traveling in maglev trains at speeds exceeding 250 mph, and other scientific and engineering applications of maglev are of substantial and growing importance. The aesthetic appeal, pizzazz, and practicality of maglev in “fighting friction by fighting gravity” will retain its magic for many years to come.
“This book is an extensive compendium of everything you might want to know about levitation of things both animate and inanimate. James Livingston is a master of this genre in that he presents quite difficult concepts with humor, history, and detail while always maintaining technical accuracy” – Fred Fickett, Chief, NIST Magnetic Technology Division (Ret.). “A well-written, factual account of magnetic levitation and accompanying lore over the ages. Rising Force is a welcome addition to Livingston’s previous books on magnetics.” – Ralph Hollis, Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University. “If you read only one book this year involving the magnetic levitation of frogs, make it this one” – Dave Barry, humorist


Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674055357 / 0-674-05535-7
ISBN-13: 978-0674055353
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches

For a quick visual overview, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUoFhgJ_i6A

Harvard University Press: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674055353












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