Magnets affect materials in one of three ways, attraction, non-attraction (neutral) and repulsion. Diamagnetism refers to an objects weak repulsion from an magnetic field. There are no poles connected with diamagnetism. The north pole of a magnet repels the material just as well as the south pole. Just like a north pole of a magnet will attract iron just as well as the south pole. Graphite is diamagnetic. Pyrolytic graphite is 10000X more diamagnet than most common diamagnetic materials such as water. Thin slices of pyrolytic graphite are extremely light and can be made to levitate. The closest thing to a perfect diamagnetic material is a superconductor however superconductors still require liquid nitrogen to become superconductive. Whereas pyrolytic graphite can levitate at room temperature.
Levitation is achieved by alternating poles to create a strong magnetic field gradient. Because diamagnetic materials are repelled by either pole, we can place the magnets with alternating north and south poles, that stick to one another and create a magnetic gradient that centers the pyrolytic graphite material. The magnets are positioned properly on a thin piece of sheet steel.
What the reviewers say
This is a good kit for a demo of diamagnetism. The chip of pyrolytic graphite is fairly small. If all you need is the carbon, this kit would be well overpriced. However the magnets needed for levitation have to be fairly powerful. The magnets which come with the set are quite nice.
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More about this product: Diamagnetic Pyrolytic Graphite Levitation Kit