The Science Behind SciFi's 'Tractor Beam' Technology
The Inverter Magnet is a magnetic demonstration that produces a fascinating effect that can be compared to a sci-fi tractor beam, and notably, does so without any power supply or moving parts. This is an array of powerful neodymium magnets designed to create a 2D magnetic trap which can hold another magnet in place a fixed distance away. The result is an extraordinary physical effect where a magnet becomes 'stuck' to the inverter magnet while still separated by a 5-7mm air gap, causing the two magnets move together across a flat surface as if attached by a solid bar.
The Inverter Magnet contains a number of magnets in a special arrangement. The special arrangement creates a unique magnetic field that can hold another magnet a fixed distance away. This works provided both the inverter magnet and the other magnet are in a fixed plane (e.g. they are both on a flat table top).
The most obvious test is to place the inverter magnet on a table. Then put a normal magnet (supplied) on the table but far away from the inverter magnet. Slowly bring the normal magnet closer, as they get closer together they will start to attract one another. Normally at this point two magnets would slam together, but with the inverter magnet they don’t. Instead they remain at a fixed position around 4-7mm away from one another. This means that when the Inverter Magnet is moved across a table top, the test magnet moves with it as if attached with a rigid rod, despite the fact that the magnets are not connected by anything except magnetic forces.
This patented technology was invented by Owen Miller and license to us for use in this product.
- Supplied as a kit containing 10 magnets (6 outer magnets + 2 inner magnets stacked on top of one another + 2 magnets for testing)
- Plastic Inverter ring measures 1 1/2" in diameter, inner and test magnets measure 3/4" diameter, and outer ring magnets measure 1/4" diameter
- No screwdrivers all tools required