How to make an amazing Levitating Orb!
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide PVC Pipe about 24 inches (60cm) long, the kind they use in bathrooms. You can also use a regular balloon if you do not have PVC pipe.
- Mylar or Lametta fine tinsel for Christmas trees. There are many types of tinsel – you should look for the thinnest and narrowest possible. The tinsel used in the video is about 1 millimeter wide. If it is much wider than that, the orb may be too heavy to levitate.
- A head of clean, dry hair
If you do not have any fine tinsel at home you can purchase some from the link below!
1. Arrange 6 strands of fine tinsel side-by-side and tie them together in a knot at one end.
2. Tie them together again about 6 inches (15cm) from the first knot.
3. Cut the loose tinsel strands off just past each knot.
4. Charge the PVC pipe/balloon by rubbing it back and forth through your hair for 10 seconds.
5. Hold the tinsel orb (by the knot) above the charged pipe/balloon and let it drop and touch the pipe/balloon.
6. It should repel away and start floating. If the tinsel keeps sticking to the pipe/balloon, the tinsel is probably not thin enough and you will need to try another kind of tinsel or order some from us. (You will usually have to ‘recharge’ the pipe/balloon before each levitation.)
Similar static charges repel away from each other.
When you rub the pipe in your hair you give the pipe a negative static charge. The orb is attracted to the pipe at first because the orb has a positive charge. As soon as the orb touches the pipe, it picks up a negative charge. Since the pipe is negative and the tinsel orb is now negative, they repel away from each other and the orb levitates!
The orb will also take on more of a ‘ball’ appearance when charged since all the tinsel strands are repelling away from each other.
Did you notice the orb is attracted to other objects around you – including you? That is because most objects (including you) have a positive charge.
If you are unsure of any of the ‘sciencey’ words used in this article, just highlight the word and a link will open up with more information for you!
Here is a video of somebody who has made their own levitating orb!