This has nothing to do with electricity, Electrodynamic propulsion, or light sails.

I am asking can a flat surface made of diamagnetic material like light sail displace Earth or the Sun's magnetic field to maneuver in orbit?

Would adding a diametric layer to a light sail increase propulsion from magnetic fields of the Sun? Can the Earth, Sun or other planets have a Magnetosphere strong enough to propel or provide stability to a spacecraft or satellite?

The orbit in red below would follow the polar cusp in relation to the Sun.

enter image description here


Can a satellite work like a radiometer?

Can orbital maneuvers be performed by a solar sail to correct eccentricity?

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Using Earth's magnetic field for an electric propulsion system $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Aug 29, 2018 at 7:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't think the it would be a duplicate, this question is essentially different because it asks for diamagnetic sails. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Aug 29, 2018 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ What is a diametric layer? A diamagnetic layer? $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Mar 2, 2019 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe film over or behind the material of the light sail to propel by light and diamagnetic pressure. $\endgroup$
    – Muze
    Mar 2, 2019 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ If it has nothing to do with light sails as you say in the first paragraph, why do the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs mention them? $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2019 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


As per wiki, light sails are made of Mylar, a reflective polyester film. The material with the highest diamagnetic constant is bismuth, χv = −1.66×10−4, although pyrolytic carbon may have a susceptibility of χv = −4.00×10−4 in one plane.. You can see pyrolytic carbon levitating above strong rare-earth magnets with a gap of only a few millimetres in the video below.

By the way, the Earth`s Magnetic field is of the order 10^-5T.(see here). Moreover, in case of super conductors Quantum Locking cannot be achieved due to irregularities in Earth's magnetic field. So, as per above information, a good orbital velocity cannot be achieved by such a low intensity of magnetic field.

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    $\begingroup$ As per WIKI - Can you add the link then? $\endgroup$
    – user10509
    Mar 3, 2019 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ The diamagnetic levitation requires an inhomogenous and very strong magnetic field. The Earth's magnetic field is very weak and due to its huge size locally homogenous. So the force created by a diamagnetic material in the Earth's magnetic field is very, very close to zero for two reasons: the weak field and the locally homogenous field. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Mar 3, 2019 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe In the video, the unperturbed field could be uniform, but the existence of the diamagnetic sample perturbs it, so the resulting field is nonuniform. According to the linked article, the sample's response is both large, and non-isotropic "in one plane" so I think what's going on here is not the same as for the levitating frog. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 3, 2019 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe but yes for a spacecraft the gradient of the Earth's field is extremely weak, it changes over tens or hundreds of kilometers, not centimeters, so the resulting repulsion would be weak for two reasons; 1) very low field to begin with, and 2) very slow gradient. I think you should post that as an answer. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 3, 2019 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt that the magnetic field in the video is uniform. See this paper on page 5 and 6, Abbildung 4 to 9. Paper is in German language. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Mar 6, 2019 at 12:12

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