Mass determination with the magnetic levitation method: Proposal for a new design of electromechanical system

Heikki Kajastie, K. Riski, Alexandre Satrapinski

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The method for realization of the kilogram using 'superconducting magnetic levitation' was re-evaluated at MIKES. The realization of the kilogram based on the traditional levitation method is limited by the imperfections of the superconducting materials and the indefinable dependence between supplied electrical energy and the gravitational potential energy of the superconducting mass. This indefiniteness is proportional to the applied magnetic field and is caused by increasing losses and trapped magnetic fluxes. A new design of an electromechanical system for the levitation method is proposed. In the proposed system the required magnetic field and the corresponding force are reduced, as the mass of the body (hanging from a mass comparator) is compensated by the reference weight on the mass comparator. The direction of the magnetic force can be upward (levitation force, when the body is over the coil) or downward (repulsive force, when the body is under the coil). The initial force to move the body from the coil is not needed and magnetic field sensitivity is increased, providing linearization of displacement versus applied current. This new construction allows a lower magnetic induction, reduces energy losses compared with previous designs of electromechanical system and reduces the corresponding systematic error.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-304
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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