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By pushing a button, the visitor causes an electromagnet coil to energize momentarily, inducing a large current in an aluminum ring. This creates a strong counter electromagnetic field that shoots the ring to the top of the rod where it hits a rubber bumper and then falls safely down for another launch.
This exhibit provides an excellent programming platform for many electromagnetic experiments. The lower half of the rod is protected by a Lexan tube that can be removed by the staff during these demonstrations.
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