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Magnetic accelerator demonstrations

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Magnetic energy converts into kinetic energy over and over again in this high velocity, marble-launching series of experiments with magnetic accelerators. Watch Magnetic Games set up a series of tracks with powerful neodymium magnets lined up on either side. Their configurations send the steel balls flying and halting, even while hanging almost upside down. From this Science Fair project:

Imagine getting on a roller coaster. It’s one of the fastest ones in the park and accelerates you up to 100 miles per hour! A little nervous, you look around and notice there’s no enormous hill in front of you. How will you gather the momentum to reach such great speeds if you start from a flat surface? The answer is a magnetic linear accelerator.

Magnetic linear accelerators rely on the strength of opposing magnetic fields to propel objects forward at great speeds.

magnet track configurations

In the case of this type of roller coaster, magnets on the ground and on the outside of the cars repel each other, causing the cars to zoom forward along the track… Instead of using gravitational potential energy stored in the height of the first hill, these coasters use the force generated by magnets for their source of kinetic energy.

magnet track configurations
Magnetic Games specializes in handling magnets so strong that they require a specially-built wooden tool to help separate them. Please note these neodymium magnet hazards to help practice safe and smart science.

magnetic tracks
Related reading: Poles and Dipoles.

Watch more Magnetic Games. Plus these magnet videos:
How to make simple homopolar motor ‘race cars’
Electromagnetic Induction
• How to Make the World’s Simplest Electric Toy Train
• Electromagnetic Levitation Quadcopter
DIY Ferrocell: How to make a magnetic field viewer
• Magnetic fields revealed in slow motion
• The surprising interactions between copper and neodymium magnet

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