I wondered if magnets could be used to hold a drop of molten liquid metal in air (not for any particular reason just because it could be done), but was disappointed when a quick Google search showed the metal would lose its magnetic traits before it melted.

Are there any other forces that could be used to suspend a drop of molten liquid metal in air such as sound waves, high pressure air, electric currents, or anything else?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of Will molten iron stick to a magnet? $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2014 at 3:44
  • $\begingroup$ @BrandonEnright but this question is phrased to include any metal, and would include suspending by paramagnetic or diamagnetic effect, analogous to liquid oxygen being suspended between the poles of a magnet. $\endgroup$
    – DavePhD
    Apr 20, 2014 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ This is used to measure the surface tension of liquid metals. $\endgroup$
    – akid
    Apr 20, 2014 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DavePhD yeah the question is way too broadly worded if you allow for anything. For example, your answer is "yes" and a series of links. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2014 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ I added an explanation to the answer so it's not just "yes" anymore. $\endgroup$
    – DavePhD
    Apr 21, 2014 at 1:27

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is possible to magnetically levitate molten metal. This is not due to ferromagnetism however. As seen in the below references, the metal sample is placed within a tapered conducting coil, which carries alternating electric current in the ~400kilohertz range. This sets up a magnetic field gradient inside the coil and causes eddy currents in the sample. The applied magnetic field is excluded from the interior of the sample. The sample experiences a force in the direction of decreasing magnetic field strength.

See the following for more information:








Molten glass is suspended (and spun) on air jets to form "pre-forms" for molding glass optics. I suspect that the same must be possible for metals.


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