If you've ever seen a magician levitate someone, they used a table with a hidden arm:
Magicians in smaller venues may forgo the mechanization, stretching the arm out so it can go behind the stage curtains, where it is lifted and lowered by two stage hands. When this is done, the table typically starts out on the ground so the magician and his assistants can walk completely around the table, demonstrating to the audience that there isn't anything holding it up.
Some people believe that levitation can be achieved with enough practice doing yoga. In India, it's not uncommon to see a yogi floating in mid-air, with nothing but his cane touching the ground. This is really just a variation of the magician's levitation table: the cane is buried in the ground, and a seat is attached to it in such a way that the supports can be hidden by the yogi's robe.
There are two ways to achieve true levitation: magnetism and sound.
What we perceive as sound is a variation in pressure: this is why speakers vibrate. An acoustic levitator uses these pressure waves to move objects. These devices are used for anti-gravity simulations. While there is no physical limit to the size of an object lifted this way, no one has built one that can lift more than a few pounds.
If you've ever played with magnets in a science class, you know identical magnetic poles repel each other. Since all matter is magnetic, it's possible to do this with anything as long as you have enough total magnetic force. Scientists at the Nijmegen High Field Magnet Laboratory did just this by putting a live frog inside a magnet with a strength 400,000 times the power of the Earth's magnetic field. Currently, there isn't a magnet powerful enough to lift a human.
Posted 4272 day ago