James D. Livingston

now available!

Rising Force: The Magic of Magnetic Levitation

Levitation magic of magician Harry Kellar

From Peter Pan to Harry Potter, from David Copperfield to levitating toys, there is magic in conquering gravity. In this first-ever popular introduction to "maglev" - the use of magnetic forces to overcome gravity and friction - the author takes readers on a journey of discovery, from basic concepts to today's most thrilling applications.

The tour begins with examples of our historical fascination with levitation and then introduces the fundamentals of gravitational and magnetic forces, force balance, and stability of levitation. After discussing the basics of specialized topics like diamagnetism, superconductivity, and sensors and feedback systems, he reviews the many applications of maglev in modern science and technology.

The book's literally uplifting coverage includes flying frogs, levitated sumo wrestlers, maglev surgery inside a living pig, and magnetic bearings inside heart pumps, wind turbines, energy-storage flywheels, integrated circuit manufacture, maglev trains - and much more. Included are 38 illustrations.

Millions of people have already experienced the thrill of traveling in maglev trains at speeds exceeding 250 mph, and other scientific and engineering applications of maglev are of substantial and growing importance. The aesthetic appeal, pizzazz, and practicality of maglev in “fighting friction by fighting gravity” will retain its magic for many years to come.

Early praise of Rising Force:
“This book is an extensive compendium of everything you might want to know about levitation of things both animate and inanimate. James Livingston is a master of this genre in that he presents quite difficult concepts with humor, history, and detail while always maintaining technical accuracy” – Fred Fickett, Chief, NIST Magnetic Technology Division (Ret.)

“A well-written, factual account of magnetic levitation and accompanying lore over the ages. Rising Force is a welcome addition to Livingston’s previous books on magnetics.” – Ralph Hollis, Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University.

"If you read only one book this year that involves magnetic levitation of frogs, make it this one" - Dave Barry, humorist.

Chosen by Physics World magazine as one of the 10 best popular-science books of 2011!

Shanghai maglev train traveling over 250 mph

Selected Works

A brief sequel to Arsenic and Clam Chowder, in which Mary Alice travels north on the Klondike Gold Rush
A sensational murder trial set in 1890s New York
Popular Science
The first review of the many and varied forms of magnetic levitation written for a general audience.
A entertaining treatment of the history, legends, science, and technology of magnets for a general audience.
Historical Biography
The dramatic life story of an early feminist and abolitionist who was both witty and wise.
Undergraduate Textbook
A lively introduction to the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of solids.

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