Laser Levitation With Scrap Parts

After a year away from YouTube, the ever-energetic [Styropyro] has returned with whiteboard in hand to remind us just how little we actually know about lasers. In the last month he’s really hit the ground running with plenty of new content, but one video of his particularly stands out: a practical demonstration of laser levitation. Even better, unlike most of his projects, it looks like we can replicate this one without killing ourselves or burning our house down!

For those unaware, laser levitation is probably as close as we’ll get to Star Trek-style tractor beams in our lifetimes. In fact, the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program has been examining using the technology for capturing small particles in space, since it would allow sample collection without the risk of physical contamination. While the demonstration [Styropyro] performs lacks the “tractor” part of the equation (in other word’s, there’s no way to move the particle along the length of the beam) it does make us hopeful that this type of technology is not completely outside the reach of our home labs.

The trick seems to be with the focus of the laser beam itself. Your average laser pointer just doesn’t have the appropriate beam for this kind of work, but with a diode pulled from a DVD burner and a driver circuit made from parts out of the junk bin, the effect can be demonstrated very easily as long as you can keep the air in the room extremely still. Of course, what you’re trying to pick up is also very important, [Styropyro] has found that synthetic diamond powder works exceptionally well for this experiment. At about $1.60 a gram, it won’t break the bank either.

So how does it work? With a few trips to the aforementioned white board, Professor Pyro explains that the effect we’re seeing is actually electromagnetic. If the particle you want to levitate is small enough it will become polarized by the light, which is in itself an electromagnetic wave. Once you’ve got your mind wrapped around that, it logically follows that the levitating particle will experience the Lorentz force. Long story short, the particle is suspended in the air for the same reason that a projectile is ejected from a rail gun: if you’ve got enough power and the mass of the object is low enough, there will be an observable force.

We’ve been covering the work of [Styropyro] for years now, and are glad to see him back on YouTube creating new content and terrifying a new generation of viewers. Between this and the return of [Jeri Ellsworth], it’s like we’re experiencing a YouTube hacker Renaissance.

37 thoughts on “Laser Levitation With Scrap Parts

  1. Lasers can do a lot of things (purportedly). A Dr. Mallet of the UCONN .edu Physics Dept purports that by using a ring laser through photonic crystals he can cause frame dragging which can cause a gauge boson to go back at least one second in time. Whether or not his assertions are true is anyone’s guess.


    A REAL Time Machine (supposedly)

    Dr. Unabrow’s [Styropyro] claims above and whiteboard calculus is quite derivative (like a trained parrot?) and typical of YouTube show-offs. I do not think he uses calculus to understand his experiments. It’s more like trial & error or smoke tests, I guess.

    Actual (albeit alleged) anti-gravity levitation is not achieved like this. A Russian physicist from Tampere U. in Finland is allegedly working with Boeing Aircraft (in USA) and BaE (in UK) on an actual mass levitater. An American physicist (Dr. Ning Li formerly of NASA) is working with US Army Redstone Arsenal on a unaffiliated parallel project.They both use a spinning disc (>500 RPM) of of super-cooled YBa2Cu3O7. All objects above the disc seem to loose weight after reaching top speed. NASA tried the experiment but failed when they felt a very large disc of this material (enough to make an average sized human weightless) would reach destructive disintegration force to the disc. So they never finished the experiment. Both scientists have achieved small object levitation but refuse to demonstrate to the public. Mainly because most of it is classified by their financiers (i.e. MILINDCMPLX). Another reason is they are holding out for profit interests. They are both being paid well to STFU.

    1. “They both use a spinning disc (>500 RPM) of of super-cooled YBa2Cu3O7. All objects above the disc seem to loose weight after reaching top speed.”

      Isn’t it simply a diamagnetic levitation, electromagnetic force on an object countering gravitational force to same object, and not “real” anti-gravity?

      1. salec – No not really. If you GOOGLE it you will see that neither scientist uses any electricity to magnetize the disc. The disc is not a superconductor (per se) but is super-cooled with liquid He. Many debunkers un-compellingly protest that the gadget is NOT mitigating gravity (or shielding). Even Dr. Ning Li says that her gadget is not doing that either. But Dr. P (I cant spell his Russian name) says it is. But who really knows how gravity really works? All any one can do is guess at it. This device is nothing like the superconductor experiment with levitating super magnet you’ve seen before. This is some next level stuff every one is scratching their heads over. A very fast spinning Yttrium Barium disk dipped in liquid He and objects mysteriously loose weight over the disc… who knew?

        But what do I know I have a “tin foil” hat (nice shooting the messenger dude!)

        Google is your friend – use it!

        1. >>The disc is not a superconductor (per se) but is super-cooled with liquid He.
          Yes it is and it works at liquid nitrogen temperatures, there’s 1300 papers relating to yttrium-barium superconductive levitation on google scholar. The Meissner effect isn’t some new discovery though this ceramic is one of the many modern ‘high’ temperature superconductors. If the discoverer of the ceramic says it’s not doing the woo you want it to be doing, that should be a sign to you that you’re wrong. There are literally dozens of experiments exactly like this one and a few that go beyond into quantum locking, but this phenomena isn’t some mystical unexplained thing.

          >>But who really knows how gravity really works?
          Therefore woo? Woo of the gaps holds no explanatory power and deserves the ridicule it gets.

          >>But what do I know I have a “tin foil” hat (nice shooting the messenger dude!)
          Well, when the messenger routinely butchers the message and inserts unfounded, unbelievable claims, is it really any wonder?

          1. Leithoa – Hey ol’ buddy long time no hear from. I missed your pithy comments.

            OK Leithoa, before everyone plays pile on the “tin foil hat” guy (ugh!) let’s make sure everyone does proper backgrounding and checked my bona-fides. The scientist’s name is Евгений Подклетнов, Yevgeny Podkletnov. He was from Tampere University in Finland where he DISCOVERED this new effect in the 1990’s. The university refuses to back him up as his stuff is too “inconvenient” for main stream academia (MSM). So he was booted from there. There is much controversy in what he found and how he chooses to explain it. He won’t use “conventional” speech re: gravity.

            Formerly of NASA, Dr. Ning Li also discovered the exact same phenomena but in her own way that she claims is separate from Podkletnov’s methods. And she too stick’s with MSM’s contention that this is NOT gravity shielding. The link below explains it all. No “woo” attached – thank you… :-P

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Podkletnov (there’s a link there to Dr. Ning Li too)

            What’s with some guys here using the old fallback pejorative phrase (tin foil hat) for something they just don’t have the basic acumen to understand? I think it’s getting too puerile for HaD old-timers like us to keep getting this foolishness from noobs and passerby-types because some are too lazy to look something up on Google. The link above was on Wikippedia and was common knowledge to some who are up-to-date.

            >>Meissner–Ochsenfeld effect: Is not related to Podkletnov and Li’s work. There is NO ELECTRIC CURRENT at all except inside the motor’s windings. There is no magnetic component either. Podkletnov only used YBCO ceramic disc, spun it up, and non-magnetic stuff lost ~2% weight. So where’s the woo in me repeating his comments? Where did I add unfounded stuff or butchered the message?

            “Someone in the laboratory was smoking a pipe, and the pipe smoke rose in a column above the superconducting disc. So we placed a ball-shaped magnet above the disc, attached to a balance. The balance behaved strangely. We substituted a nonmagnetic material, silicon, and still the balance was very strange. We found that any object above the disc lost some of its weight, and we found that if we rotated the disc, the effect was increased.” – Dr. Podkletnov

            >>Gravity is a fully known science and can be fully explained [/paraphrased]. Hmmm… are you serious? I can’t begin to share with you scientists today who totally disagree with that false assumption.

            So I’ll admit I tend to think outside the box (non-conventional paradigms). That does not constitute “tin foil hat”. I mean Newton and Galileo should have also gotten those pejorative monikers. But in the end the benighted dullards would be exposed by thier unenlightened comments (not aimed at you Leithoa – you are one of my favs and always will be) :-)
            ——————————–
            Somun says:
            November 8, 2017 at 11:51 am

            I think it’s the well known Yttrium phobia (google it) that makes the objects to avoid touching the disk.
            ——————————–
            Huh? Poaching words from psychology are we? I did Google it. Absolutely NIHIL (google it)!

          2. >>>>>Gravity is a fully known science and can be fully explained [/paraphrased].
            That’s a nice strawman you’ve constructed.
            Here you give an excellent example of the messenger butchering the message and why it earns you ridicule. Gravity is not fully known. Whatever confirmation of the Higgs brought, there is more to be learned but given the energies involved they probably won’t be made in our lifetime.
            You are correct, gravity is not fully understood, but it doesn’t need to be in order to say that spinning a ceramic plate does not somehow ‘shield gravity’, whatever that means. For everyday life, gravity is sufficiently understood. Until you get into quantum phenomena or behavior close to gravity wells, Newton is good enough. ‘This one time a guy was smoking a pipe & the smoke rose’ and ‘ this other time we put a semiconductor above a super conductor after we induced a magnetic field and it levitated’ is not sufficient evidence for the claim of ‘shielding gravity’. You can do lots of cool things with superconductors like YBCO. Most people would agree that frogs are non-magnetic, but you can levitate them with a sufficiently strong magnetic field due to the large amount of water in their bodies. The experiments you claim are groundbreaking are nothing more than parlor tricks with exotic ceramics. Sure, you might get a masters degree out of some of them, but they aren’t re-writing out understanding of physics.

      1. Olsen – That image was a REAL photo of Dr. Ron Mallet’s time machine prototype. It is a ring-laser in where the laser is bounced around inside of photonic crystals causing space-time continuum frame dragging. All real stuff you can look up on Google or go the the Physics Lab at UCONN University in Storrs Connecticut (USA) in the basement lab. Dr. Mallett advertises his email address and phone number if you want to set up an appointment. His supervisor is Dr. Budnick who is in charge of the Physics Building. Dr. Mallet CLAIMS he has dropped a gauge boson in the center of it and it somehow went reverse in time by 1-second. I can not explain it. Just Google him. He is extremely popular in the science community and very respected as a genius.

        I don’t think I’m adding or butchering his message. I also have his book. He is standing next to the thing pouring in some fogging material so you can see the LASER beams. This guy is no nut or tin foil hat dude. He has bona-fides you can look up. He’s up there with Einstein and Feynman who he worships. He claims one day he can make it human transport size but it has severe limitations. There’s supposed to be a movie about it one day but nothing yet.

  2. I’m thinking the same can be done with the controlled thermal expansion with 3D controls like using a laser propulsion systems also… though would require critical remote sensing and trajectory control to keep the item from burning up if didn’t have a heat shield.

    Maybe… maybe there could be a way to keep cool at STP without a heat shield if you can keep the pressure current up which would required more energy and pressure to be produced.

    Interesting that the ultrasonic tractor beams can be made at home with instructables.com even documenting how to construct. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YV0lou4L4c

          1. I’m styropyro, the maker of this video.

            First off, why the hate on the unibrow? If I plucked it I’d feel like I was disgracing my badass camel riding ancestors in the middle east…lol.

            Where do you see mistakes in my calculus? As I said in the video it was based off of the wikipedia derivation, but I added some steps when I didn’t understand how wiki got from one line to the next. This was more towards the beginning of the derivation. If anything the assumptions used to do the derivation may be rocky, but the calculus itself should be good.

            And for the record I’ve known about this experiment for years, but when I first tried it ten years ago I didn’t understand why it worked, but now after having enough math behind my belt, I decided to go back and try to understand what was going on.

          2. I didn’t even notice. I’m XLHED, so I don’t have much hair though my Dad had a unibrow for periods of his lifecycle.

            Hormones, development phases, genetics, epigenomics… uhm… not pertinent to the discussion.

            sonofthunderboanerges gets confused sometimes with humans physical image, which is in most humans a large part of the primitive primary sensory unit, I’m thinking and not always associated with the acts involved with committing intentionally. I enjoyed the video and acting skills. I’m am really not so good at acting on video lately and no way have the math skills to even critique post something Cuban Embassy Diplomat worse than sonic assault style stalking me and most around me wherever I go. Talk about pathetic government and extorting the taxpayers and government to justify and substantiate their need in our society and economy. Senator John McCain even had an article regarding being assaulted by defense contractors harassing him using remote sensing and transmission technologies for legislation to pass to fund them and I say their black ops continuing criminal enterprise (or some call business) in the newspaper that was public and I think censored as I can’t find a copy anywhere.

          3. Feynman does like to round from what I can tell to make the calculus easier as that was what the calculus was designed to do if I understand correctly. Since there wasn’t computers to process the Descartes or other forms of what I guess you can generically call analytical algebra that was far more complex to solve by hand to more accurately make calculations.

            I didn’t really get into the fiction sections of the library either. Story time was OK, though I didn’t always like listening to the ho ho ho’s it’s almost Christmas and there’s snow on the ground outside here in Michigan. Blah!

            Is neat to reflect back on old observations with more education and visit those same systems and follow through more accurately.

          4. @sonofthunderboanerges “Your calculus: Actually I have no special knowledge to challenge your white-boarding.”

            Good job on at least partially admitting that you typify the worst of HaD readers. Next time maybe refrain from commenting or at least lead with something like “I’m just here for the hate.” FWIW; many engineers and scientists use calculus on a daily basis, myself included, though I’m no math wiz.

            @Drake Anthony (styropyro) Dude! You’re a boss! I hope you consider teaching or mentoring in the future.

  3. Leithoa says:
    November 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Do a CTRL-F and type in the 9:57 am to read his posting for background.

    Leithoa,

    OK you know I value your opinion (even if it hurts a bit) :-)

    Wasn’t trying to make a “straw-man” argument. I tried to defuse my earlier statement with the [/paraphrased] suffix. I guess it didn’t work. I’m glad you admitted that there are serious gaps in gravity theories. So at least on that point we are in agreement. The only part we disagree with his my semantics-butchering and my setting myself up for asinine comments from Matt about the metallic material my hats are made from. :P

    I’m pretty sure your “woo” comment stems from Henry Drummond’s god-of-the-gaps argument even Hawkins has repeated before. Woo or Wu referring to Chinese magic? You must be aware of my eschatological bent from my past postings. However, I do not believe in the god-of-the-gaps argument. Gaps are just that, gaps in human understanding of some science items. I tend to just fallback to the age old statement: “maybe we will understand it one day” – no woo attached.

    What I might be doing wrong here, and I am going to conceded to you a bit, is that I tend to drop in topics and subject matter I don’t fully understand and it might be an unconventional opinion or wordsmithing I use to explain myself. When those who are not familiar with it (i.e. Matt), think rude arrogant replies are pithy. No they are just rude and arrogant. Saying someone needs to adjust their tin foil hat is just a simple cop-out saying “I really don’t understand your posting and I wish you could offer more evidence or links to support your contention”. You would expect that from the old timer HaD denizens, as that’s one reason why I prefer HaD over Reddit or YouTube.

    Coincidentally, you and I both were thinking about Higgs after my last posting. I was also thinking about CERN. I was musing to myself, the only thing I could gain from a visit to CERN is the great chocolate… :D

  4. Drake Anthony (styropyro) says:
    November 10, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I’m styropyro, the maker of this video.

    First off, why the hate on the unibrow? If I plucked it I’d feel like I was disgracing my badass camel riding ancestors in the middle east…lol.

    Where do you see mistakes in my calculus? As I said in the video it was based off of the wikipedia derivation, but I added some steps when I didn’t understand how wiki got from one line to the next. This was more towards the beginning of the derivation. If anything the assumptions used to do the derivation may be rocky, but the calculus itself should be good.

    And for the record I’ve known about this experiment for years, but when I first tried it ten years ago I didn’t understand why it worked, but now after having enough math behind my belt, I decided to go back and try to understand what was going on.

    The unibrow hate (as you say) stems from negative comments on YouTube about it. Dude, have you ever heard of “manscaping”? Ask your girlfriend about it. Mine bugs the hell out of me about my Andy Rooney brows (the late CBS journalists with the caterpillar brows). I look nothing like him so I don’t know what she’s talking about.

    Your calculus: Actually I have no special knowledge to challenge your white-boarding. I was just unfair taking pot-shots at you. I just have a intuitive hunch you were just grandstanding. I have never seen a scientist use calculus to explain LASERs and how they work. Hence it makes me suspect as to your motives. I’m not disagreeing that you are onto something very cool. It looks valid to me. However, your calc demonstration made me think about The Big Bang Theory episode in where the game show host put up a Feynman Diagram and no one had a clue what it was, including the great brain Sheldon Cooper.

    The only one to get it was the Russian janitor who was actually a under-employed physicist from Leningrad Polytechnica. Sheldon rejected his knowledge as Sheldon is a dumb-assed show-off.

    I love LASERs…

    1. The Feynman Diagram

      “In this Feynman diagram, an electron and a positron annihilate, producing a photon (represented by the blue sine wave) that becomes a quark–antiquark pair, after which the antiquark radiates a gluon (represented by the green helix).” – Wikipedia

  5. Robot says:
    November 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    @sonofthunderboanerges “Your calculus: Actually I have no special knowledge to challenge your white-boarding.”

    Good job on at least partially admitting that you typify the worst of HaD readers. Next time maybe refrain from commenting or at least lead with something like “I’m just here for the hate.” FWIW; many engineers and scientists use calculus on a daily basis, myself included, though I’m no math wiz.

    @Drake Anthony (styropyro) Dude! You’re a boss! I hope you consider teaching or mentoring in the future.

    I don’t think I typify the WORST HaD readers/posters. I know of many that are levels of magnitude worse. Also I don’t think you grasped the level of innocent humor used. Even styropyro didn’t take it personal and even had a LOL about it. That’s all I was aiming at w/the unibrow crack – a LOL (I also incorrectly thought it was a prop too).

    I did not say engineers and scientists don’t use calc daily, I only meant they USUALLY don’t use calc to explain LASERs to each other. I would think they only use it to explain a complex new idea or concept they have about something intrinsic about LASERs. Styropyro already said his stuff was DERIVATIVE, that means somebody else already did the calc. He didn’t need to do it on a whiteboard as if he thought up all that calc himself. The YouTube audience neither needed it or understood it. So what’s the motive for using it in a demo? Showing off?

    Curious: Looking at Dan’s question to Tom Nardi – why did YouTube pull styropyro ‘s video about LASERs? What was wrong with it? What are styropyro’s bona-fides? Is he the real-deal or just one of the “usual suspects” on YouTube??? Just curious…

    @Leithoa – You see this is how I like HaD responses to go. Robot took my alleged “butchering” of Styropyro and his words and responded in a non-arrogant and polite fashion unlike Martin (who I incorrectly called Matt up there somewhere) responded to me. It sure would be nice if some HaD’ers could take a lesson from Robot’s example.

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