Japan's Maglev train breaks world speed record with 600 km/hr test run.

Maglev trains suspend, guide and move using magnetic levitation.

Levitating an object is to rise and float it in air and let us see how magnetic forces can be used for levitating an object.


Poles of a magnet
Magnetic attraction
Magnetic repulsion
Working of a maglev train


Material Needed

1. Rubber base with slots to insert magnets - 1No.

2. Pencil which is sharpened - 1No.

3. Ring magnets - 4No.s

4.Disc magnets - 2No.s

5. Acrylic strip to support the pencil - 1No.

Steps To Make

Peel the paper from the plastic piece

Insert the plastic piece in to the first slot of the base

Place the circular magnets (without holes) such that like poles face the same direction

2 ring magnets together
Place 4 ring magnets( 2 each on both sides) as shown.

Insert the thin rubber rings and the ring magnets alternately as shown.

Note: The blue side of the ring magnets should be facing the end of the pencil.

Place pencil as shown to observe the levitation.

Troubleshooting: In case the pencil doesn’t levitate
Slightly adjust the position of magnets on pencil

Spin it from behind

Real Life Applications

Maglev is a system of transportation that suspends, guides and moves vehicles (especially trains) using magnetic levitation.
Bullet trains work on this principle.

An electrical current is sent through guide way coils on the track which

What’s happening?

Like poles repel. The magnets and pencil are arranged such that the repulsive forces between the magnets can balance the weight of the pencil. The downward weight (gravitational force) is balanced by the upward repulsive forces (magnetic force).

Interesting Facts:

Butterfly record: A student has levitated and rotated the pencil for 4 min 39 sec. This stands as the butterfly record. Incase you surpass the record do mail us: