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Instead of using a standard solar sail material could the sail be built of diamagnetic material and sail faster? Is there a way to make a thin flat sail that both uses the dimagnetic properties of a superconductor to repel of the magnetic field and use the solar wind from the Sun?

Related: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2015/08/superconducting-magnetic-space.html

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  • $\begingroup$ Diamagnetic materials are repelled by a magnetic field, so if the solar sail would travel in such a magnetic field wouldn't it go slower ? $\endgroup$ – Cornelisinspace Aug 18 '18 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe... but thing is light pressure is extremely weak, so the solar sail must be 1. big, 2. light, 3. cheap. As soon as you try to go with fancier materials your price goes rapidly up, simply because the area should be huge. A square kilometer of thin metalized foil is within reasonable mass and cost budget and unfolding it is not an impossible challenge. A square kilometer of thin plates of brittle superconductor though? $\endgroup$ – SF. Aug 20 '18 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ @SF. super conducting foil alloy made to be less brittle and conductive? thinking more of an electro super conductor repulsion and attraction? $\endgroup$ – Muze Aug 20 '18 at 4:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Muze: From what I know, high-temperature (like LN2) superconductors are all brittle ceramics, and the sail won't be running very cold (Liquid helium temps) exactly. And the repulsion needs a magnetic field, like Earth magnetosphere which doesn't reach all that far. $\endgroup$ – SF. Aug 20 '18 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ @SF. I was thinking there would be enough magnetic field from the sun to make repulsion in the solar system. None the less it may work if it is cold in the shade in space of a separate sail.as a satellite? The videos I have seen of the newer material where not super cooled. $\endgroup$ – Muze Aug 20 '18 at 15:26